Proclaiming Faith

"Take courage"

October 25th, 2015 (see other dates)

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Discussion Questions for Reading 1

In what ways do we sometimes have to be bearers of bad news or prophets of gloom for others? How do you think Jeremiah felt about the good news he foretells in this reading? Read aloud any lines that communicate the prophet's feelings. What does he reveal about God's relationship with the Israelites? How do we know that this exodus will be different from the first one?

If you were an Israelite hearing the prophet's words for the first time, what line would be most consoling for you? In what ways does God console us when we return to him after wandering into sin, bad habits, or forgetfulness of him?

Reading 1 Jeremiah 31:7-9

Reading 1 Reflection

People who foretell times of trouble are often called "prophets of doom and gloom." At times Jeremiah had to fulfill that role for the Israelites. However, in today's reading, he assures God's people that they will be released from captivity in Assyria. Their return will be like a new exodus from Egypt of old. God speaks through Jeremiah of a triumphant and joyful homecoming.

Our God is a God of freedom and salvation from slavery of every kind. No matter how far away we wander, he is always ready to welcome us home through the Church and the sacraments.

Discussion Questions for Reading 2

If you could interview a young priest who was recently ordained, what questions would you want to ask him about his vocation? What questions might you have for an older priest who had served in parishes for many years? If you asked both priests how their parishioners had helped and supported them, what do you think they might say?

How do you think Jesus, our high priest, wants us to share in his sacrifice and in his glory?

Reading 2 Hebrews 5:1-6

Reading 2 Reflection

In Old Testament times, the high priest was chosen to serve as the people's representative before God. He offered sacrifices to atone or make up for the sins of the people as well as his own sins. Jesus, however, was greater than any high priest chosen from the priestly clan of Israel. As the Son of God, he has no equal.

We join with the sacrifice of Jesus each time we celebrate the Eucharist. He knows our human weakness because he has shared it. And he does not place himself far above us but shares his glory with us.

Discussion Questions for Gospel

Why do you think the crowd was so irritated by the blind beggar's behavior? What experiences do you have of people being embarrassed by those who are odd or different? How does Bartimaeus respond to the complaints of the crowd? How does Jesus's response differ from the crowd's? Why do you think Jesus heals Bartimaeus?

What are some of the influences in our society that weaken our ability to see as Jesus does? What kinds of blindness might people your age experience? How can you improve your spiritual eyesight?

Gospel Mark 10:46-52

Gospel Reflection

When someone calls attention to himself in a crowd, others sometimes say, "Stop making a spectacle of yourself!" In today's gospel story, it is the blind beggar Bartimaeus who is irritating the crowd. He is shouting so persistently to Jesus that the people are embarrassed by this public display of neediness. They attempt to shush him. But Bartimaeus shouts, "Son of David, have pity on me!" Jesus hears the beggar's plea and restores his sight. He tells Bartimaeus that his own faith has healed him.

We all suffer from blindness of one kind or another because we fail to see things as Jesus does. "I want to see" should be our daily prayer to him.

Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades

Prophets of Good News

Have each child make a megaphone from construction paper and decorate it with markers and stickers. Call each child up, one at a time, and have that child use his megaphone to say something good about himself, his school, his family, his friends, his life, etc.

Seeing Others As Jesus Did

Make a pair of glasses for each child from craft foam or tag board or purchase inexpensive child?s sunglasses for each child. Have the children decorate these glasses with stickers, sequins, paint, etc. As the children wear these ?spiritual glasses? remind them they should see the good in everyone just as Jesus did.

Proclaiming Faith Activities

Aiding the Liberators

Jeremiah rejoices that God will liberate the Israelites from captivity in a foreign land. Those who departed in tears will be consoled and guided.

Use the Internet or any available resources to find out about the work of the following organizations that help to liberate those who suffer in today's world. Decide how your class will aid one of these groups in prayer or action.

Catholic Relief Services

Amnesty International

Catholics Against Capital Punishment

Testing Our Eyesight

Jesus wants all his followers to be healed of the blindness that prevents them from seeing as he does. In a quiet place, take the following eyesight test.

Respond to each question by circling "Often," "Sometimes," or "Rarely."

1) When I see someone who is physically-challenged, I show respect and care for them.
       Often    Sometimes    Rarely

2) When I see that someone at school is being left out by others, I try to connect with that person.
      Often    Sometimes    Rarely

3) When I see that a member of my family is having a bad day, I do whatever I can to help them.
      Often    Sometimes    Rarely

4) When I see on the news that someone or some group is suffering, I pray for them.
      Often    Sometimes    Rarely
5) When I see young people who have every material thing they want, I remember that the riches Jesus values are not found at the mall.
      Often    Sometimes    Rarely

Go over your responses. Talk with Jesus about the ways in which you want to see more clearly.

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