Proclaiming Faith

Places of Honor

September 1st, 2013 (see other dates)

Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Discussion Questions for Reading 1

The word humility comes from the word humus, meaning earth. Humble people have their "feet on the ground." They face reality. They know that their gifts and talents are real, and they take care to develop them and use them to help others. They also accept their limitations gracefully, and try to do their best anyway. Do you know anyone in your life whom you consider "humble"? What makes you think so?

Consider the following situation. A friend of yours has a gift-perhaps singing, or playing an instrument, writing or speaking well. Someone asks your friend to sing, or play, or write something, or speak, or whatever. "Oh, I just couldn't," your friend says.
"I hate to be the center of attention. I would rather not." Finally, after being begged three or four times, the talented one consents to share. Is this humility? Why or why not? (Could this talented friend be you?)

Reading 1 Sirach 3:17-18, 20, 28-29

Reading 1 Reflection

This reading is from the Book of Sirach, a collection of teachings on how to live in a manner approved by God. The first two verses advise us to be humble, even when others praise us to the skies. Humble people do not deny their gifts and talents. Humble people recognize that their gifts and talents come from God. The last two verses encourage us to listen to those who are wise, and to be generous to those who are in need.

Discussion Questions for Reading 2

As a follower of Jesus, are you looking forward to this joyful celebration? Pray every day with confidence, "Thy kingdom come." How can you help make our earth more like heaven?

Reading 2 Hebrews 12:18-19, 22-24a

Reading 2 Reflection

Today's second reading describes a dramatic contrast between the old and new covenants. When God made the covenant with the Israelites on Mount Sinai, it was a majestic and even terrifying event. But our covenant with God in Jesus is characterized by its intimacy. The risen Christ draws all believers up to Mount Zion, a symbol of God's kingdom, or reign. There, all the angels and saints are gathered in a joyful celebration of love and friendship.

Discussion Questions for Gospel

Because God created each one of us and loves each one of us, each one of us is important. We start out as babies who are supposed to be "selfish," who need to have others pay attention to us and take care of our needs because we can't do anything for ourselves! Gradually we grow up and are able to do more things by ourselves. Gradually, we can help take care of others. We can be happy "behind the scenes" and we can be happy "at the head table." Life usually has a little bit of both in store for us.

What can you do by and for yourself that you couldn't do last year or a few years ago? How can you take care of others now, perhaps a pet who needs food or water, or a little brother or sister who needs your attention and help? How can you do what Jesus says in the gospel and help the ones among us who need our help the most?

Gospel Luke 14:1, 7-14

Gospel Reflection

Have you noticed how often Jesus talks about parties and dinners? He wants us to be prepared for that great feast that is the fullness of God's reign. In today's gospel, Jesus prepares us with some good advice about ways to be a guest and ways to be a host. As God's guests in this world, we should act humbly and remember that we are always in the presence of Someone greater than we are. As hosts of God's people, we should offer hospitality to those who cannot reward us.

In the custom of his time and place, Jesus exaggerates to make a point. We do not have to leave out our friends and families. But neither should we leave out the poor and disabled.

Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades

Attentive Ears

In the first reading, we are told that "an attentive ear is the joy of the wise." Explain to the children that this means it is important to be a good listener. Help children become better listeners. Have the children close their eyes and listen for noises in the classroom. After several minutes, have them open their eyes and talk about what they heard. Repeat this exercise outside and in Church.

Name That Sound

Provide each child with paper and pencil or crayons. Have the children close their eyes. Make a sound using two blocks knocked together. Have children open their eyes and draw what they think made the sound. Then make the sound again so children can see. Repeat this activity using many other things, such as bells, rocks in a container, phone ringing, a whistle, a ball bouncing, a stapler, a knock on a door or wall, etc.

Proclaiming Faith Activities

Clowning for Jesus

The two dinner stories Jesus tells us today can be acted out with comic exaggeration, as lessons in humility. With your family or group, do a clown performance of both stories. You might take the skits "on tour" to another classroom or to a senior citizens' residence.

Skit #1
Come Up Higher



the proud guest

the host

other guests


the proud guest: a fancy hat or cloak, or something of your choice

the host: an apron or bow tie, or something else

clown make-up for all

Props: table, several chairs

Action sequence:
1. Jesus introduces the story.

Skit #2
Welcome, All!



the host

assorted "outcast" guests


the proud guest: a fancy hat or cloak, or something of your choice

the host: T-shirt with red heart or ?

guests: patched clothing

Props: table, several chairs

Action sequence:
1. Jesus introduces the story.

Wise Proverbs

A proverb is a brief saying that communicates a truth. For example,

"An attentive ear is the wise man's joy." What kind of proverbs do you think most young people need to hear? Complete the following and compose at least one of your own. Suggestions are given, but try to write better ones!

The truthful person lives forever, but the liar (dies a little with each lie; dies bit by bit).

Happiness is not found in piled-up possessions. It is found in (loving God and others; loving and being loved).

A person is not what he or she wears. Clothes are (just costumes and disguises).

A true friend is a safe haven. He or she (protects us from the cold winds of loneliness.)

My Own Wise Proverb

Choose one wise saying to put into action this week!

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