Proclaiming Faith


June 29th, 2014 (see other dates)

Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Apostles

Discussion Questions for Reading 1

In today's first reading, Peter was conscious that the Lord was with him in life's ups and downs. How have you been conscious of God's presence with you in your life? Is there any "prison" from which God has rescued you? 

Is there anything you feel attracted to in this reading? Do you feel resistant to anything? Do you know why?

Reading 1 Acts 12:1-11

Reading 1 Reflection

In the first reading, the story of Peter's arrest and deliverance has a miraculous note to it. God seems to be watching over the infant Church with Fatherly care. Peter attributes his personal rescue from danger to God's saving hand. We also notice that this first group of Christians seems to be characterized by a spirit of unity, support, care, concern, and prayer.

Discussion Questions for Reading 2

St. Paul says he has fought the good fight and is now waiting with trust for the "crown of righteousness." How would you describe your life?

In what way does this reading challenge you? What can you do to respond to this challenge?

Reading 2 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18

Reading 2 Reflection

In the second reading, we learn how St. Paul persecuted the Church and had a dramatic conversion. He knew who to thank: "I am what I am by the grace of God." Pray that like St Paul you will recognize the good you have done and thank God for it.

St. Paul compares his life to, among other things, a race well run, for which he will be rewarded by the crown of immortality. His success was due to the loving protection of God.

Discussion Questions for Gospel

Peter was leader of the community; a man of faith who loved Jesus. He was also weak and denied him. Can you accept loving but weak members in the Church, both leaders and faithful? Can you accept a Church that is at times sinful?

Though this gospel is Peter's story, it is very much each one of our stories because it contains perhaps the most important question ever asked by Jesus. 'But you, who do you say that I am'? Peter spoke directly from the heart in his great profession of faith. Each of us is challenged to answer this question on a personal level during our lifetime: 'But you, who do you say that I am?'

Gospel Matthew 16:13-19

Gospel Reflection

St. Peter was the first to make a profession of faith in Jesus as the Messiah. Peter also denied Jesus, not just once, but three times, and then professed his love for Jesus three times. He trusted Jesus enough to walk on water in the midst of a storm, but began to doubt when he noticed the waves in the storm. He was a disciple of strength (the rock), of weakness (denial), of love (you know I love you), of trust (walking on water), of doubt (he gets scared and falls down into the water). Doesn't Peter give you hope? Pray that you will know Jesus' love for you and always be willing to 'bounce back' like St. Peter, even when things go wrong.

Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades

On This Rock

Remind the children of Jesus' words, "You are Peter and on this rock, I will build my Church." Have a pile of rocks available. Ask each child to draw a church on paper. Let them each choose a rock. Then have them cut their church out and paste it on the rock.

Keys of the Kingdom

Using the cutout of the key, have each child decorate a key to God's kingdom.

Proclaiming Faith Activities

Rewarding the Welcomers

Who are the people who have welcomed you into the Church, into their homes, or their organizations? How have they helped you to experience God's love? Choose two welcomers. Make a chart similar to the one here. Suggestions are in italics below.

·Welcomer #1

Name:  Maureen, youth minister

Place of welcoming: St. John's Parish

How God's love was shown to me:

She made me feel at home and introduced me to other young people.

How I will reward my welcomer(s):

I will volunteer to help her in her ministry.

·Welcomer #2

Name: Chris

Place of welcoming: Junior High 10

How God's love was shown to me:

He made friends with me right away and showed me around.

How I will reward my welcomer(s):

I will be a good friend to him and follow his example of friendliness and welcome to others.

After you finish your chart, ask yourself: How will I follow the example of these welcomers?

Planning a Welcome

How will you practice the ministry of support and concern towards one or more of God's messengers: missionaries, pastors, parish ministers, priests, lay people, and religious? Brainstorm ways your family or your group can put today's reading into practice.

On a sheet of paper, map out your plans. Discuss the suggestions below and add your own!

How can we show our Christian support and concern to God's messengers?

  • Invite a catechist or youth minister to join your group for a picnic or outing.
  • Invite our pastor to visit our group. Ask him how we can be more helpful in our parish.
  • Write regularly to a missionary offering friendship and support.
  • Throw a "Thank-You" party for one group in your parish who helps others regularly.

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