October 14th, 2012 (see other dates)
Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Discussion Questions for Reading 1Recall some of your favorite stories and fables when you were a child. Who were some of the characters you believe acted wisely? Consider, for example, "The Tortoise and the Hare" or "The Lion and the Mouse." Explain your choices. Recall a favorite story from the Bible. How does someone act wisely or unwisely in this story? Think about your own family's story. Share a wise decision that you or another member of your family made.
Who or what can help people your age prefer wisdom to material things? Why is it often difficult to seek God's Kingdom before the things this world values?
Reading 1 Wisdom 7:7-11
Reading 1 ReflectionIf one person prays to win the lottery and another person prays for wisdom, which do you think has offered the most meaningful prayer? The author of this reading sees clearly that wisdom is more desirable than riches. It is also to be valued above power, health, and beauty. Wisdom enables us to keep our priorities straight. It helps us to see things from God's point of view.
Sometimes we hesitate to seek the things of God because it might mean we have to lose the things of earth. But when we seek God and God's kingdom first, everything else of true value will follow.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2When you think of "God's word," how do you picture it? What symbols come to mind? How do you feel about the symbol of the two-edged sword? Why do you think the inspired author uses this symbol? Look back at today's first reading. How might God's word in these verses from Wisdom strike someone's conscience or heart? How might you allow it to change you?
In what way can this reading help you to be more attentive to God's word? What clue does it give you about how to read aloud from the Bible?
Reading 2 Hebrews 4:12-13
Reading 2 ReflectionA two-edged sword is a very powerful symbol. When we picture God's word as a sharp sword, we want to sit up and pay attention to the reading. The inspired author teaches us that this sword can cut right to the human heart. It judges our thoughts and decisions. It saves those who listen to it and requires an accounting from those who ignore it.
The symbol of the sword reminds us that God's word is alive and active. It is never a word that is lifeless or without meaning in our daily lives. It is always capable of changing us if we let it.
Discussion Questions for GospelLook back at this gospel story. Place yourself in the sandals of the rich young man. When you approach Jesus, what are you expecting? When you tell him about how you have kept the commandments, what are you hoping he will say? Why do you think Jesus looks at you with love? What is your reaction to the one thing more Jesus says you must do? What are you telling yourself as you go away sad? Might you feel differently later on? Why?
In what ways do you already share or give away some of your possessions? What message is Jesus giving us about our attitudes towards riches? Do you think this gospel story has a happy ending? Why?
Gospel Mark 10:17-27
Gospel ReflectionThe rich young man in this story is like a mountain climber who has almost reached the summit. But the final stretch will be more difficult than the distance he has already come. He comes to seek wisdom from Jesus about how to achieve everlasting life. He assures the Good Teacher that he has kept the commandments since he was a child. Jesus looks at him with love and challenges him to do one thing more. If he wants to reach the summit of treasure in heaven, the young man must sell his possessions and follow Jesus. This he cannot do. So he goes away sad.
Jesus assures his disciples that entering the kingdom of God is no easy matter. Those who are attached to their possessions will have a more difficult time. However, those who rely on God to achieve the impossible can do all good things.
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
What Do You Treasure In Your Heart?Make a treasure chest from a large box. Give each child a coin cut-out. Have the children draw something that they value on the coin. Call each child up to show his/her drawing and have him/her put the coin in the treasure chest.
Through the Eye of a NeedleRemind the children of the reading from Mark, where Jesus says that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of Heaven. Show a plastic craft needle to the children in the class. Ask if they think a camel could fit through the eye of this needle. Show them various objects from around the classroom and ask if any of those will fit through the eye of the needle. Explain that we must value God above all things if we are to enter the kingdom of Heaven.
Proclaiming Faith Activities
Comparing the WordLook again at the second reading. Then complete each of the following comparisons of God's word to each of the three symbols. On the second line write one thing God's word does. Provide a fourth comparison in the space below.
1) God's word is a two-edged sword.
2) God's word is a measuring stick.
3) God's word is a guiding star.
4) God's word is a _____________________________________.
Sketch one of these or another symbol of God's word in action.
Writing an EndingThe gospel does not tell us what happened to the rich young man after he went away sad. Imagine that you are that rich young person. Decide if you are living in the time of the gospel or in today's world. Write a one-page ending for the story from the first-person point of view. Share your version of the story with the class.
For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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