"Set solidly on rock"
March 6th, 2011 (see other dates)
Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Discussion Questions for Reading 1How do we view God's commandments in our lives? Do we look upon them as rules that curtail our plans or activities, or are we able to see the commandments as life-giving? To obey the commandments is to live a blessed life. How we view them makes all the difference in the world. How can I make God's commandments a greater part of my day?
Reading 1 Deuteronomy 11:18, 26-28, 32
Reading 1 ReflectionIn today's first reading, Moses stresses the importance of the commandments to the Israelites by comparing the keeping of them to a blessing or the neglect of them to a curse. This spells out the seriousness of God's covenant with his people. When we turn away from God's commandments, we start to follow other gods. Moses encourages them and us to take God's words into our hearts and live by them.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2What is the significance of faith in my relationship with God? How does a person acquire faith? How do we nurture it? How do we lose it?
Reading 2 Romans 3:21-25, 28
Reading 2 ReflectionPaul's letter to the Romans highlights God's great love for us in redemption. Paul uses the phrase "the righteousness of God" to mean God's initiative in saving us. We cannot boast of our own holiness. We are holy because God has made us holy. It is God's free gift, and nothing but God's great love makes us deserving of this.
Discussion Questions for GospelWhat can we do to grow and increase our faith? What role do good works play in our life of faith?
Gospel Matthew 7:21-27
Gospel ReflectionIn today's gospel, Jesus points out that following him is more than a matter of simply saying words. We are each called to put our words into action. That is the way we truly do the will of God. Jesus compares it to a house that has a solid foundation and a house that is built on sand. If you've ever found water seeping into your basement after a heavy rainstorm, you know what it means not to have a house with a solid foundation. Our lives are like that. Living according to God's words and teachings make up the solid foundation of our lives. Faith becomes like the rock that will not erode. When God's words are not deep in our lives, our faith is like a house built on sand which gradually erodes and is swept away. Action, not just knowledge or words, provides a secure foundation for a life of faith.
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
Building HousesUsing a small pile of sand, encourage the children to build a house made of sand. After it has been completed, pour a bucket of water on it to show how it erodes or washes away. Then give them a sketch of a house and let them color in a strong foundation.
WristbandsGive the children small strips of colored paper. Have them write reminders about God's words on each strip, for example, "Be holy" or "Love God above all" or "God loves us" and decorate their strips. When they have finished, have glue sticks available for them to make wristbands and wear them.
Proclaiming Faith Activities
Wearing God's WordIn the first reading, Moses told the people to let his words bind them on their wrists as a reminder and as a pendant on their foreheads. What would these reminders look like today? Wearing wristbands and pendants is very popular today. Have the young people form two groups. Ask one group to design wrist bands depicting God's words and the other group pendants. Display them on a bulletin board for all to see.
Blessing CardsMoses asks the people to choose a blessing, for obeying the commandments, or a curse if they follow other gods. Have the young people create blessing cards. These could be used in their classroom whenever someone is seen performing a good action.
For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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