August 7th, 2011 (see other dates)
Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Discussion Questions for Reading 1Does this reading change your image of God in any way? Does it tell you something about prayer? How will it help you to pray?
Reading 1 1 Kings 19:9a, 11-13a
Reading 1 ReflectionIf God's "voice" could be recorded, most people would probably assume that it would sound powerful, like the roar of the wind or awesome like the rumble of an earthquake. The prophet Elijah made an amazing discovery about God. When God spoke to Elijah on the holy mountain, Elijah heard "a tiny whispering sound." But in that sound Elijah recognized that God was present to him and would protect him from his enemies.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2Do you pray for those who have not yet recognized Christ? How will you show your love by being more faithful to this responsibility?
Reading 2 Romans 9:1-5
Reading 2 ReflectionToday Paul expresses sadness that most of his own people do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah. But Paul still loves them. They are God's chosen people, and Paul prays for them.
Discussion Questions for GospelWhen life seems tough and you are afraid, how will you turn to Christ with trust?
Gospel Matthew 14:22-33
Gospel ReflectionThere are really two stories in today's gospel. One is about Jesus; the other, about Peter. As the gospel begins, Jesus is alone in prayer. His disciples are in a boat crossing the Sea of Galilee. In the dark of night, a storm threatens the boat. Just as the boat is about to be swamped, Jesus comes to rescue his disciples. He is walking on the water!
The second story tells how Peter's faith is put to the test. He thinks that he can join Jesus, walking on the stormy waters. But when Peter is out of the boat, surrounded by the menacing waves, he has second thoughts. In his fear, he begins to sink. After saving Peter, Jesus asks him why he doubted and did not trust him.
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
Whispering VoicesGod speaks to Elijah in a whisper, rather than a loud shout. We, like Elijah, listen better to a whispering voice.
Before your meeting, use a tape recorder to record a message for each child. Whisper the child's name and then say "God is with you always." After all the children have listened to their messages talk about how they feel knowing that God is with them always.
Walking on WaterAct out the gospel reading. Place a blue tablecloth or piece of fabric on the floor to represent the sea. Make a boat in the "water" using a box, chairs, or a masking-tape outline. Have some children be the disciples in the boat. Select one child to be Jesus and one to be Peter. As you read the gospel, have the children act it out.
Proclaiming Faith Activities
Find Your Own CaveIn the first reading, Elijah took shelter in a cave on the holy mountain where God had spoken to Moses. There Elijah prayed and waited for the Lord. Do you have a "cave," a special place, where you can be alone with God? Picture yourself in such a place. Then answer these questions: Why might you set aside some time to go to your "cave"? When will you do this? What words would you hope to hear from God?
Some suggestions for such a place: a corner of a back yard or garden, a porch or treehouse, tent, lean-to, a favorite spot on the beach, near a lake or on a park bench.
A Gospel StoryLook again at the gospel story of Jesus walking on the water. When the disciples saw him coming, they were afraid. Write your own version of the dialogue between Jesus and his friends. Be true to the message of Matthew's account.
Narrator (sets the scene):
Narrator (continues to explain what is happening): Peter:
Narrator (explains what happens next and concludes the play):
With whom do you identify most in this story? Why is that? How can your share your gospel play with others?
For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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