Proclaiming Faith

"What do you wish??"

October 18th, 2015 (see other dates)

Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Discussion Questions for Reading 1

Who do you think of as the servants of God in your parish? How do they serve the Lord? In what ways are you and your family and classmates servants of the Lord? What sacrifices or sufferings did servants of God like Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Martin Luther King, Jr. make? How do you know that their suffering was not in vain?

When you are older, in what way would you like be God's servant? What can you do now to prepare for that vocation?

Reading 1 Isaiah 53:10-11

Reading 1 Reflection

One of the worst things a person can experience is to feel that they have suffered for nothing. When a soldier dies in battle for a good cause, others say that he or she did not die in vain. In today's first reading, Isaiah describes the Suffering Servant of God. This servant gives up his life "as an offering for sin." By doing so, he bears the guilt of others. God says of him, "My servant shall justify many." To justify others is to free them from blame or take away their guilt.

We can easily understand why Christians see a portrait of Jesus Christ in this reading. He is the obedient servant who gave his life for our salvation. By his suffering, death, and rising, he leads us into fullness of days.

Discussion Questions for Reading 2

Can you recall a time when something a priest said or did helped you to recognize or resist temptation? Tell about it. How have parents, teachers or other adults helped you to avoid sin? In what ways have you alerted friends or younger children to temptations? How does Jesus as our great high priest help us?

Why does this reading say that we should turn to Jesus when we are weak and tempted? What are some of the ways in which Jesus might answer our prayer at such times?

Reading 2 Hebrews 4:14-16

Reading 2 Reflection

Temptation is a familiar visitor for most of us. Sometimes we lock our doors and say "Keep out!" Other times we let temptation in and wind up acting against God's will. Jesus never said yes to temptation. He knows what it is like to be tempted. Therefore, he understands how hard it is for us to resist temptations to sins like dishonesty, greed, and violence.

Jesus is a priest who intercedes for us always. Whenever temptation knocks on our doors, we have only to turn to Jesus. He will strengthen us to do what is right.

Discussion Questions for Gospel

Who are some of the people in today's world who are considered great? How do they exercise their authority or make their importance felt? In what ways do you think their greatness differs from the greatness described by Jesus? Who are some of the people you have seen exercising Jesus' kind of greatness? In what ways have you served the needs of others?

Name three ways people your age can model for younger children what it means to be great in the eyes of the Lord.

When and how will you practice that greatness?

Gospel Mark 10:42-45

Gospel Reflection

We can often recognize those who are considered great in the world by the number of people they have serving and protecting them. Jesus teaches his disciples that it cannot be like that with them. He has come not to be served but to serve others, especially the poor and those who need healing. His greatness is seen most clearly in his laying down his life for others.

Through Baptism we share in the Church's ministry to serve all who are in need. We share Christ's mission of working for peace and justice in our homes, our parish, and our world.

Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades

Role Play ?Temptations?

Read aloud the following situations and have the children act them out, adding their own ending.

a) Your classmate left a toy that you would like outside after recess. What do you do?

b) You are building with blocks or Lego. A classmate comes to join you and takes many of the blocks to make his own building.
What do you do?

c) You see a quarter fall out of a friend?s pocket when she is jumping rope. What do you do?

A Book of Service

Each week, discuss with the children how they as a class can serve others. Select one act of service and do it. Write about what was done and place this page in a binder. Have all the children who participated, place a smiley face sticker on the page as a symbol of the happiness they shared. Continue this each week of the school year and watch the Book of Service grow.

Proclaiming Faith Activities

De-Masking Temptation

Imagine temptation as a character in a Halloween mask who knocks at your door and tries to trick you into saying, "Come in." For each of the following, sketch the kind of mask temptation might wear. Then write a short prayer calling on Jesus to help you de-mask and defeat this temptation.

The temptation to cheat on homework or tests

My Prayer: _________________________________________

The temptation to smoke or drink alcohol

My Prayer: _________________________________________

The temptation to seek revenge

My Prayer: _________________________________________

Showing Your Greatness

Jesus says that whoever wants to be great among his followers must serve the needs of all. With your partner or group, decide how to show your greatness in these situations.

1) A new family in the parish has not yet made any new friends and does not feel like they belong here.

2) A homeless shelter needs personal items like toothbrushes, combs, and shaving supplies.

3) A community group is organizing a walkathon to raise money for children with cancer.

4) An elderly person in your neighborhood struggles every week to carry heavy grocery bags from her car to her house.

Which of these ways of serving might you be able to do? Or what other way of showing your greatness will you commit yourself to this week?

For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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