Proclaiming Faith


Forgiveness

June 16th, 2013 (see other dates)

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time




Discussion Questions for Reading 1

Have you ever felt that you wanted something you couldn't have so strongly that you would do anything to get it, even if it meant betraying a friend or going against your parents' wishes? Perhaps you desire a certain position on a team, a part in a play, or someone's special attention. Have you ever been tempted to lie or cheat or ruin someone else's reputation to get what you want? What can you do to help you and your friends accept what you have and be grateful for it?

Reading 1 2 Samuel 12:7-10, 13

Reading 1 Reflection

In the first reading, Nathan tells King David a story that helps David to see the terrible sin he has committed. Because he wanted another man's wife for himself, David deliberately placed the soldier in the front line of battle where he would be killed. God had given David so many blessings and David now realizes he has sinned against God. David is filled with sorrow but Nathan assures him of God's forgiveness. Like David, any one of us can lose our perspective and let our desires rule us. We are not entitled to take what belongs to somebody else. Pray for God's help against this temptation.

Discussion Questions for Reading 2

Who or what has helped your faith to grow? Who are the people you admire because their faith is so evident? What are the signs of their strong faith? Are people drawn to you because they can see your faith? Or have you made that precious gift of faith pointless, like David and many others?


Reading 2 Galatians 2:16, 19-21

Reading 2 Reflection

Today's reading helps us to see the importance of faith. St. Paul says that having faith in Jesus is what makes us favorable in God's eyes. Paul tells us that his faith is so strong that it's as if he no longer lives, but Christ lives in him. People should be able to see God's love radiating in us. Those who are so intent on keeping the law that they don't reflect God's love are missing the point. Keeping the law is important, but the law alone will not help us to be saved.

Discussion Questions for Gospel

How do we treat one another? Do we treat friends?and strangers?as if we are all equal? Or do we allow skin color, gender, cultural, economic, or even petty differences stand in the way. Do we sometimes discriminate because someone is different? What if God acted that way toward us?

What is your love barometer? Where do you stand on the scale for accepting all people? Do you make distinctions, like Simon, saying "this person is not good enough?" When someone slights you, are you able to forgive them or do you hold a grudge? How can you show a greater acceptance of others? What can you do to encourage your friends to have a forgiving attitude?

Gospel Luke 7:36--8:3 OR 7:36-50

Gospel Reflection

The gospel reading tells the beautiful story of Jesus' response to the sinful woman. In her love for Jesus, she disregards the usual way guests are treated at a banquet. She bathes Jesus' feet first with her tears, then with precious ointment, and wipes them with her hair. Simon, the host of the banquet, shows Jesus none of the usual courtesies when he arrives. Moreover he condemns Jesus for associating with the woman who was a known sinner. In telling Simon a story about forgiving debts, Jesus praises the woman. She is forgiven much because of her great love. Jesus points out Simon's need for forgiveness?because of his lack of hospitality, his lack of respect for each of them, and his self-righteousness. The story is a powerful example of the relationship between forgiveness and love.

Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades

We are the Family of God

Provide each child with a large circle and a variety of magazines. Have them find and cut out pictures of people, young and old, of all races, nationalities, and colors and paste these pictures onto their circles. Each circle depicts the family of God, the Body of Christ. When finished, put all the people circles in the center of the group and lead them in a prayer that we all may be one.

What is Your Cross?

Provide each child with a cut out cross. Then have them fill in the empty cross by drawing or writing about one or two things they find most difficult. Place a large crucifix on a table in the center of a circle. Have the children place their individual crosses on the crucifix as they pray to be faithful followers of Jesus.


Proclaiming Faith Activities

People of Faith Program

As a group, plan a TV series about people of faith. The purpose of your program is to highlight the importance of faith in the lives of ordinary people. Select people from your family, school, or neighborhood. Ask them to share one story about their faith playing a significant role in their lives. Create an interview and/or follow-up questions for the moderator of the show to use.

Celebrating Differences

As a group, plan a program for your school or parish to highlight and celebrate each person's uniqueness. Encourage members of different ethnic groups to explain their family and cultural traditions. If possible, have them bring native foods and dress. Include cultural music and dance. Advertise it as Celebrating Difference and Oneness in the Body of Christ. Conclude with a short prayer service and sing together, "We are the Body of Christ."


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