"God so loved the world"
June 19th, 2011 (see other dates)
The Most Holy Trinity (Solemnity)
Discussion Questions for Reading 1What does God reveal to Moses? What was Moses' response? Does this reading describe God as you know God? Name one way you have experienced God's kindness and mercy. Does this reading describe you (and all of us) as you (we) sometimes are?"a stiff-necked people?" When are you stiff-necked about something? Do you talk to God about it?
Reading 1 Exodus 34:4b-6, 8-9
Reading 1 ReflectionThis encounter between Moses and God takes place on Mount Sinai after the Israelites have sinned by worshiping a golden calf. Yet God has forgiven them and is about to renew the covenant with Israel. Moses hears God identified as merciful, kind, forgiving, and faithful. On behalf of the unfaithful people, Moses seeks God's pardon.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2Sometimes we think Christians should never be mean, or angry, or upset, or just plain weak and sinful. That is our goal, of course, but Paul realized that we are human and we need the understanding and encouragement of others, not only when things are going well, but also when things in our parish or school or family or friendships are not going well. How can we "mend our ways" or "mend our relationships" or "mend our meetings" or "mend our behavior with our friends or group"? How can we seek harmony and peace when we feel stuck in anger, upset, weakness, or sin? Who or what can help us? Where in your life do you need the "grace of the Lord Jesus, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit?" How will you find it?
Reading 2 2 Corinthians 13:11-13
Reading 2 ReflectionIn his farewell to the Christians of Corinth, Paul advises them to cooperate with one another and live peacefully. When they meet, they are to greet each other lovingly as true followers of Christ. In the closing blessing, Paul entrusts his friends to the Blessed Trinity.
Discussion Questions for GospelThere is a saying, "God loves each of us as if there were only one of us." And in a way, there is only "one of us." Each one of us is unique. As the song says, "There Will Never Be Another You." Fill in your own name in each of the blank spaces:
God so loved ________________ that he gave his only Son, that ___________________, who believes in him, may have eternal life. God did not send the Son to ________________ to condemn him/her, but that ________________ might be saved through him.
What is your response to this message? How can you share it with others?
Gospel John 3:16-18
Gospel ReflectionIn today's gospel reading, Jesus is speaking to a Pharisee named Nicodemus. Nicodemus has come to consult Jesus because he recognizes that Jesus is a great teacher sent by God. However, Nicodemus has not yet recognized that Jesus is the Son of God, who has come to save all who believe in him. Those who hear Jesus and accept his word will have eternal life.
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
Grace, Love, FellowshipRemind the children that the Blessed Trinity is the three Persons in one God: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. To celebrate the Blessed Trinity and our fellowship in the Church, help the children make special snack sandwiches to share. Remind the children that a triangle is a symbol of the Holy Trinity. Fill the sandwiches with different spreads: peanut butter and jelly, cream cheese and jelly, or slices of different kinds of cheeses. Then share the snacks.
In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy SpiritExplain that when we make the sign of the cross, we honor the Blessed Trinity. Ask the children to pray the Sign of the Cross with you, saying the words aloud. (Check to see that the children are doing the gestures correctly.)
Proclaiming Faith Activities
Praying to the ThreeOn a sheet of paper, draw three large interconnected circles (one on top, two below it). In the circles, write a three-part prayer to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit by asking yourself:
Father: We praise you, Father, for creating us in the image of God.
Son: We thank you, God the Son, for redeeming us.
Holy Spirit: We honor you, Spirit of God, for dwelling in us.
Plan a prayer service to use these prayers or think of another time to pray them.
Designing an Uplift CardWhen people are ill, hurt, or down on themselves, an encouraging message can help to lift them up. Design a card for someone who needs it. Use these words from today's first reading:
"The Lord, the Lord,
is a merciful and gracious God,
slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity."
Suggestion: for someone who is saddened over the loss of a friendship.
You are not alone. The Lord feels your heartache and wants to comfort you.
Try not to blame others. God alone knows our hearts. Pray and trust in the Lord who is a
"merciful and gracious God."
Note: Please respect one another's privacy and do not share your messages without asking first.
For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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