A treasure buried
July 24th, 2011 (see other dates)
Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Discussion Questions for Reading 1God was so pleased with the king's prayer that God gave Solomon the greatest wisdom a king had ever had. How often will you ask God for this precious gift of understanding?
Reading 1 1 Kings 3:5, 7-12
Reading 1 ReflectionImagine what you would say if God spoke to you in a dream and said, "Ask something of me and I will give it to you." Think of all the possible responses to an invitation like that! The young King Solomon knew that he could ask God for riches or power or victory over his enemies. But he asked instead for "an understanding heart." Young and inexperienced as he was, Solomon knew that the gift of understanding was much more valuable than gold or silver.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2Will you try each day to see the image of Christ in yourself and others?
Reading 2 Romans 8:28-30
Reading 2 ReflectionPaul never runs out of new ways to tell us how much God loves us. Before we were born, God thought of us and planned for our salvation. As sisters and brothers of Christ, we can be sure that "all things work together" for those who love God, no matter what happens.
Discussion Questions for GospelHow will the parables in today's readings help you to seek God's Kingdom?
Gospel Matthew 13:44-52 or 13:44-46
Gospel ReflectionMatthew's gospel stacks one parable of the Kingdom on another. He wants Christians to understand that seeking, working, and praying for the Kingdom of God is the heart of Jesus' Good News. When we seek the Kingdom before all else, we are like a merchant who sells everything to buy a pearl of great price. Like Jesus, we value God's love and God's will above any earthly treasure.
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
What Will You Ask God?Read 1 Kings 3:5, 7-12 to the children. Explain that Solomon could ask God for anything he wanted. He asked for "an understanding heart."
Ask the children, "What will you ask God today?" Give each child a cut-out of a heart. Have them write and/or illustrate their responses. Let each child share his response and then place his heart on the prayer table.
Search for TreasureIn today's gospel, Jesus uses parables to explain that we should always search for the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is the greatest treasure of all, more valuable than any earthly riches. Have the children search for treasure. In a 9" x 13" pan, place edible treasure such as colorful coated candy pieces, chocolate-covered raisins, etc. Give each child a graham cracker in a zippered bag. With the bag closed, have the children crush these to resemble sand. Then have them pour this on top of the "treasure." Once the treasure is buried, allow each child to dig a spoonful of treasure into a cup for a delicious snack.
Proclaiming Faith Activities
An Understanding HeartGod gave Solomon an understanding heart so that the young king could make wise decisions. Solomon listened carefully not only to the words of others but to what was in their hearts. What will your Solomon-like response be to each of these situations?
A friend tells you that he or she has decided not to go to Mass any more because "its boring, and I don't get anything out of it."
A relative is becoming a "workaholic" because he or she wants to buy more luxury items. What might you say or do to help this person?
A younger brother or sister (yours or your friend's) keeps doing annoying things to get attention. How do you respond
to this person's need?
For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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