September 20th, 2015 (see other dates)
Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Discussion Questions for Reading 1Why do you think a person who always does what is right may be resented by others? Describe some of the ways in which people of your age might respond to a well-behaved classmate who pointed out their misbehavior. How do you think sarcasm and insults affect those who are trying to do the right thing?
How would you describe the example Jesus the Just One gives us? Name one way you will try to follow that example.
Reading 1 Wisdom 2:12, 17-20
Reading 1 ReflectionWhen a person always does what is right, he or she can become the target of sharp criticism. The author of Wisdom describes "the just one" who suffers the insults of the wicked. Because he pointed out their wrongdoing, the wicked are determined to make the just one suffer. They sarcastically predict that even if they condemn him to death, God will take care of him.
Christians see in this reading a description of Jesus. Even when he was insulted, tortured, and put to death, he did not strike back at the wicked. He prayed that his Father would forgive them. In doing so, Jesus gave us an example of how to entrust ourselves to God's care especially in times of trouble or persecution.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2How many qualities of the wisdom from above does James name? What are they? What is his answer to the question about where conflicts and disputes begin? What are some of the causes of envy and jealousy among people of your age? What are the results of envy and jealousy?
Find the statement in which James points to the connection between peace and justice. Give an example of how you, your family, or your friends have cultivated peace.
Reading 2 James 3:16?4:3
Reading 2 ReflectionIn this reading, we hear the voice of a just one who spells out the consequences of sinful behavior. James encourages Christians to show by their actions that they have "wisdom from above." The wise do not act out of jealousy or selfish striving after their own way. They are peace loving, gentle, forgiving, and kind. They understand that by working for peace they help bring about justice in the world.
By praying daily for the wisdom from above, we will be people of peace and justice. We will do our part to rid the world of war and violence of every kind.
Discussion Questions for GospelWhat kinds of bad news at home or at school might people your age not want to face? Do you think it is better to act as though everything will be alright, or to ask questions about what might happen? Why? In what ways have you ever been involved in arguments about "Who's the greatest?" Find the sentence in the gospel reading that gives Jesus' point of view on being the greatest.
What qualities of small children do you admire? How do you know how Jesus felt about children? Why is it important for all of us to protect and care for children? Name one way you will practice a childlike trust in God.
Gospel Mark 9:30-37
Gospel ReflectionWhen people suspect that something bad is about to happen, fear sometimes causes them to stick their heads in the sand and pretend that everything will remain the same. When Jesus tried to tell his disciples about how he would soon suffer and die, they were afraid to ask him any questions. They acted as though everything would stay the same. They even argued about who was the greatest among them. So Jesus corrected them by saying that whoever wanted to be the greatest would have to be the servant of all.
Embracing a small child, Jesus told the disciples, "Whoever welcomes a child such as this welcomes me." He wanted them to understand that they were to be willing servants with the childlike qualities of innocence, honesty, and lack of pretension. Jesus identified himself with the innocent child who is completely dependent on God.
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
A Prayer for WisdomSay the following prayer with the children.
We pray for wisdom from above,
To help us spread God's peace and love.
May we live each moment of each day,
Guided by wisdom. This we pray.
Then give each child this prayer in a prayer card. Let them decorate the frame using stickers, markers, crayons, and other materials. Encourage the children to take these prayer cards home and say this prayer everyday.
Pen PalsFind another group of children about the same age as your class to become pen pals with. Contact another school across town, across the country, or across the world. Help the children in your class find information about the other children, including information about where they live. Then have the children in your class write letters and draw pictures sharing stories about their own culture, their classroom, and their families. Collect the letters and send them to the other children.
Proclaiming Faith Activities
Sowing Seeds of PeaceTeaching peace by word or example is a meaningful way to serve God and others. Consider with a partner or a group how you will sow the seeds of peace in your family, your school, or your world.
Patience is a seed of peace. I will plant it in my family by ________________________________________.
Kindness is a seed of peace. I will plant it in my school by __________________________________.
Justice is a seed of peace. I will plant it in my world by __________________________________________.
Welcoming ChildrenJesus says, "Whoever welcomes a child such as this for my sake welcomes me." Discuss with your class: Who are the children in need in our community? How can we welcome and serve them? Consider the following "ifs":
If there is an orphanage or children's home in our community, what can we do for them?
If there are children in a local hospital, what can we do for them?
If there are children in a local homeless shelter for families, what can we do for them?
Decide how and when your class will welcome and serve these children.
For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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