Five loaves and two fish
July 31st, 2011 (see other dates)
Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Discussion Questions for Reading 1This wonderful banquet awaits all who listen attentively to God's word and keep the covenant. How will you come to God "heedfully" or attentively today?
Reading 1 Isaiah 55:1-3
Reading 1 ReflectionIn the first reading God speaks as a gracious host who invites the hungry, the thirsty, and the poor to a heavenly feast. The guests will eat and drink to their hearts' content without paying anything. They will be filled with the rich fare of God's salvation.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2What might be the persons or things that you feel are separating you from Christ right now? Take some time to ponder this question and ask Jesus' help in how to deal with this.
Reading 2 Romans 8:35, 37-39
Reading 2 ReflectionLove between persons may be affected by distance, troubles, or worries about money and other things. But Paul points out that nothing and no one can separate us from the love of Christ. In him, we are victorious over troubles and sufferings and death itself. The love Christ has for us, and we for Christ, cannot be destroyed.
Pray together: Jesus, may your love be strong in us!
Discussion Questions for GospelDoes this miracle story remind you of the Eucharist? Take a moment to thank God, who satisfies our needs in the Eucharist.
Gospel Matthew 14:13-21
Gospel ReflectionAs this reading begins, Jesus is mourning the death of John the Baptist. He goes off in a boat to be alone, but the crowd follows him by land. They want to hear Jesus and to be healed by him. Forgetting his own sorrow, Jesus returns to shore to be with the people.
When the disciples want to send the crowd home at mealtime, Jesus says, "Give them something to eat." The disciples have only five loaves and two fishes. Yet when Jesus blesses the food there is somehow enough for everyone, with plenty left over.
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
An Invitation to the BanquetAs children come into the classroom, give each one an invitation inviting them to a banquet. Explain that in Isaiah we hear that God invites all who listen to his word to come to a banquet. Have the children sit around a table. Read Isaiah 55:1-3. Then serve the children a snack and juice.
Connected to Jesus' LovePaul tells us there is nothing or no one that can ever separate us from Jesus' love. Reinforce this concept with the following activity.
On a large poster, draw a heart. Cut it out and then cut it down the middle, to form two pieces of a puzzle. On one half, write in bubble letters, the words, "Jesus' love." On the other half, have each child place a fingerprint or handprint and write his/her name next to it. Place the puzzle pieces together and attach to a bulletin board as a reminder that we are always connected to Jesus' love.
Proclaiming Faith Activities
Living the EucharistJesus satisfies our "hunger" in the sacrament of the Eucharist. He asks us, in turn, to satisfy the hunger of others. This can be done for example, by writing letters to Congress to support programs for the needy or by joining others in your parish who work for the hungry. How will the Eucharist challenge you to "feed others"? Get together with others in your group and work out a plan. When finished, share your plan with the whole group.
Always ConnectedPeople in nursing homes may feel very isolated from their loved ones, their homes, their past lives. Visit your local nursing home. Spend time talking with the elderly. Get them to talk about their families. You may want to offer to write a letter or make a card to send to a family member. Your presence with them can be the reminder that they are not separated from Jesus Christ and that through Jesus they are united with their loved ones.
For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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