October 13th, 2013 (see other dates)
Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Discussion Questions for Reading 1This reading does not contain the section in which Naaman at first refuses to wash in the river. He does not understand why he has to do something that seems pointless and almost too easy. The young child then says, "If the prophet had given you something difficult to do, wouldn't you have done it?"
What does God ask of you today? Probably things that seem, if not pointless, then pretty routine: go to school, go to work, go to church, help out your family, and do little things out of love. However, these little routine things, done out of love, "cure us" of loneliness, of selfish concerns, and of wanting our own way all the time. We learn a lot through the little things we do. How do you learn to be a good member of your family? How do you learn to be a good friend? What little things do these relationships ask of you?
Reading 1 2 Kings 5:14-17
Reading 1 ReflectionToday's reading is the high point of an unusual story from the Book of Kings. Naaman is a war hero and a commander prized by the king of Aram. When Naaman is afflicted with leprosy, a captured Israelite child says that he can be healed by the prophet of Yahweh. Naaman is desperate. So he turns to the prophet Elisha for help. When the commander washes in the Jordan River as instructed by Elisha, he is instantly cured. And he immediately proclaims his faith in Israel's God. To show that he is serious about his newfound faith, Naaman takes two loads of soil from Israel back to Aram. On this soil he will build an altar to Yahweh.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2This reading begins, "Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead." Why do you think this writer kept the resurrection of Jesus in his mind and heart? Do you ever feel imprisoned or discouraged in any way? How would remembering the resurrection of Jesus help?
Many people in our world are imprisoned. Some are in prison not for crimes but for practicing their faith, or for speaking out against injustice. Some people are "imprisoned" by working too much and being paid too little for it; some are "imprisoned" by poverty or homelessness. Find out more. You might start by looking at the web site of Catholic Relief Services at www.catholicrelief.org. How can you help the imprisoned to break free? How can you bring them the good news of Jesus' resurrection and new life for all?
Reading 2 2 Timothy 2:8-13
Reading 2 ReflectionIn this reading Timothy is being cheered on to be like his teacher Paul and be a courageous leader of the Christian community. Paul, who is chained up in prison, insists that no matter what happens to those who preach the gospel, "The word of God is not chained." He is so filled with faith in Jesus that this letter becomes a song of praise.
Discussion Questions for GospelDid you ever wonder why the other nine lepers did not return to thank Jesus? Try to think of some reasons: one may have hurried back to his family; another may have meant to thank Jesus, but got busy with other things and forgot. Can you think of some other reasons? Do you always thank someone for a gift? Why or why not? How do you do it?
When and how do you give thanks to God for his gifts to you? (Hint: What does the word Eucharist mean?)
Gospel Luke 17:11-19
Gospel ReflectionIn this story of a miraculous healing, ten lepers cry out to Jesus for help. In Jesus' time, lepers were outcasts of society. Jesus tells them to go show themselves to the priests, who will witness their healed condition and allow them back into society. Only one leper, a Samaritan, returns to Jesus to praise and thank God. This man is not a Jew but a foreigner. Jesus points out that the Samaritan leper has gained something far more important than a physical cure; he has gained his eternal salvation.
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
Unchained FaithToday's readings give us several examples of unchained faith?Naaman, Paul, and the Samaritan leper. What would faith that is freely expressed and acted on look like in your life? Complete each of the following statements with possibilities.
Thanks-GiversSince everything we are and everything we have is a gift, we should all be steady "thanks-givers." Fill in each of the "thank-you cards" below with the name of someone or something for which you are thankful. Then write a one-line prayer of thanksgiving for that person or thing. Put your heart into it. Don't be a thoughtless thanks-giver!
For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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