While I receive several emails that offer reflections on the Sunday or daily Mass readings, a recent newcomer to this service has quickly become my new favorite! ePriest.com promotes its service as “A Resource for Catholic Priests [and deacons!], dedicated to loving Christ, building the Church, and serving people”. Available to clergy are various resources which include:
- Weekly Best Practices – profiles of practices that are currently working in real parishes in such areas as faith formation, sacraments and outreach.
- Online Community – a forum where clergy from around the world can exchanges ideas and experiences.
- Homily Packs – which offers preaching tips and building blocks for effective homilies.
These are very useful tools for my ministry and help to stir the imagination and guide the Holy Spirit when a homily is in need of fresh inspiration. An additional feature of this web service is to offer parishioners an opportunity to sign up for Daily Reflection Emails. Gospel Connects will help you engage with the Word of God on a daily basis. Each reflection focuses on the Gospel for the day.
The format for the reflection is engaging and effective! Each reflection starts with the Gospel passage. (There is also opportunity to listen to the Gospel, though, I find the spoken words are sometimes a bit different than the print version. I am assuming they are using two different Bible translations of the Gospel). Following the Gospel is an Introductory Prayer to place you in the proper mindset of being open to listening and responding to the Word. A simple Petition then invites us to ask the Lord for assistance in applying the message of the Gospel. For example the Petition from March 2nd was “Lord, help me to see the redeeming power of the cross you have laid on my shoulders and embrace it.”
The central insights of the Gospel are presented in three bullet points. These points are the heart of the reflection and provide ample substance for contemplation. The final two sections Conversation with Christ and Resolution bring the reflection to a close with prayer and commitment for some related action. Here is the Resolution from March 2nd – “Before doing something today I will pause to examine the motives for which I do it: is it for me or for God? If it is only for me, I will rectify my intentions or leave the deed aside, especially if I have the opportunity to do something else for God or to serve God in my neighbor.”
While my description of the emails you will receive may make them sound complex and time consuming, I assure they are not! I am sure you will find these reflections to be a perfect start to your day and a great way to enhance your prayer life.
You can receive these daily reflections in your inbox by subscribing at the following website: https://gospelconnects.com/s/deaconralph