"Console One Another"
November 6th, 2011 (see other dates)
Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Discussion Questions for Reading 1What are some ways we can get mixed up when we try to understand what is the right thing to do? Do you know anyone who is a wise person who you can count on for good advice? Why would you call this person wise? Have you ever prayed to know what to do? What are some ways people become wise? Have you ever learned from the experience of making a wrong choice?
Reading 1 Wisdom 6:12-16
Reading 1 ReflectionSeveral writings of the Hebrew Scriptures are called "wisdom" books because they help us think about and understand humanity's long search for wisdom. Wisdom is the God-given gift to know what is right and to do it. Today's poetic reading pictures wisdom as a woman. She is splendid and eternal. Wisdom willingly appears to those who "keep vigil" for her. Wisdom comes to those who seek her in the scriptures, in prayer, and in a life focused on God. A wise person tries to make the best choices for his or her actions and life.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2Have you ever been to a funeral Mass? What are some things that happen there? Why does the church say that it "celebrates" a funeral? Do you know what grief is? Why do you think Jesus said, "Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted?" How does hope help grief?
Reading 2 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 or 4:13-14
Reading 2 ReflectionOne of the hardest experiences in life is the death of a loved one. Paul understood this very well and assures the Thessalonians that their loved ones who had died in Christ would rise again. How can Paul?s letter be a source of hope for you?
Discussion Questions for GospelA parable is a story told to teach a lesson. What is the lesson of the story of the wise and foolish bridesmaids? Name some ways that Jesus comes into our lives. How does Jesus come at life?s end? How can we wisely be ready when he comes? According to this story, can wisdom be borrowed? Name some wise people or wisdom figures in our lives who can help us to discover sensible ways of acting. Why would an oil lamp burning be a symbol of wisdom and remind you of this gospel?
Gospel Matthew 25:1-13
Gospel ReflectionWhy do we need the gift of wisdom? Why do we need to be prepared daily for Christ's coming? The parable in today's gospel provides some answers. According to the parable, five foolish bridesmaids go out to meet the bridegroom without bringing any extra oil for their lamps (the bridegroom in this story represents Christ). When the bridegroom finally arrives at midnight, the foolish bridesmaids have to run off in the opposite direction to purchase more oil. By the time they get back, the door to the wedding celebration is locked. And the groom says to them "I do not know you."
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
Seeking WisdomIn the first reading, we are encouraged to seek wisdom. Wisdom is knowing what is right to do. Play this game with the children. Write the word "wisdom" on an index card. Hide this somewhere around the room. Have one child "seek" wisdom while the other children give clues as to where it is hidden. Continue until all children have had a turn to "seek" wisdom.
Being PreparedThe parable in Matthew?s Gospel tells us that we must be prepared each day for the coming of Jesus. Make a class book, illustrating ways that we can do this. Provide each child with a copy of the lantern pattern. Explain that in the space on the bottom where the oil is held, each person is to draw or write a good deed that he or she can do and then color the lantern. Then help each child glue the lantern onto a piece of construction paper. Collect the pages. Use a stapler or clear plastic folder to bind together these pages to make a book. Talk about various ways in which the children can be prepared and keep their lamps filled with oil.
Proclaiming Faith Activities
Keeping Our Lamps LitIn New Testament times, families lit their homes with small oil lamps made from clay. Those who had plenty of oil kept the lamps burning all night long, especially if they were expecting a guest or traveler. Draw an oil lamp (it looks something like a cup with a handle). Write the word WISDOM on the lamp. Underneath it, print some deeds of goodness or holiness you will use as oil to keep your lamp lit for Christ?s coming.
Remembering the DeadAt each Mass we remember those who have died. Write you own special list of people who have died: relatives, friends of the family, or neighbors. We believe that they are not separated from us forever. They remain a part of our lives.
Write a prayer that you could say at Mass or some other time remembering those you have named. Don't forget to include how they could help you by praying for you.
Or write a prayer for others who have died, perhaps on 9/11, or in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or for people who are homeless, or who have no families to pray for them. Ask God for a blessing on them.
Acting the Gospel StoryMake today's gospel into a dramatic reading. Using the words of the gospel, turn it into a play.
Have parts for:
Five wise bridesmaids
Five foolish bridesmaids
Read or act out this parable in front of a group. What title will you give your play?
For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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