August 31st, 2014 (see other dates)
Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Discussion Questions for Reading 1How does it feel to be laughed at? Can you remember when you or someone else was laughed at for doing the right thing or for refusing to do the wrong thing? Why do some people laugh when they are told something is wrong? Would you like to have a relationship with God like the one Jeremiah had? What might that mean?
Reading 1 Jeremiah 20:7-9
Reading 1 ReflectionThe name Jeremiah means "the Lord raises up." But we can tell from the prophet's complaints that Jeremiah feels the Lord has let him down. His friends laugh at him and he decides not to speak for the Lord anymore. Yet the word of God burns in his heart. He must continue doing the work God has called him to do. He chooses to be true to God and himself, despite the suffering he knows will come.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2What are some things about "this age," our own times, that we should not conform ourselves to? How can we learn to judge what is good and pleasing to God? How does one get an "attitude adjustment" to be transformed? Ask God to help you when you find that doing God?s will isn?t as easy as you thought.
Reading 2 Romans 12:1-2
Reading 2 ReflectionPaul, like Jeremiah, reminds us that doing God's will is not always easy. We must be ready to do God's will despite the cost to ourselves. Being a spiritual sacrifice often means not putting ourselves first, being different, or becoming transformed to know what is pleasing to God.
Discussion Questions for GospelWhy did the workers at Ground Zero after 9/11 take a cross-shaped piece of the building that collapsed and place it over the ruins in New York City? Why has the word cross come to mean suffering and sacrifice? What did Jesus show us about suffering? What cross do you think you or others have to carry right now? How can you show you are willing to carry it?
Gospel Matthew 16: 21-27
Gospel ReflectionJesus corrects Peter who did not understand when Jesus said he would go to Jerusalem to suffer, die, and rise again. Peter, like many others, expected Jesus to be a conquering Messiah. Then Jesus tells Peter that he is not judging by God's standards but by man's. Peter had not yet realized that Jesus was going to save us by the cross, and that every disciple must also accept the cross. It will be a part of the life for all his disciples, for all who follow him.
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
Living in God's LoveJeremiah tells us in the first reading that he feels God's word burning in his heart. He listens to God and does what God wants no matter what happens to him.
Play the game "Living in God's Love." The game is patterned after "Musical Chairs." Have the children sit in a circle on the floor. Make a heart from construction paper, craft foam, or clay. Have the children pass the heart around the circle as you play a recording of a song about God's love. Stop the recording at regular intervals. When the music stops, the child holding the heart must share a response to a situation posed to them, telling how they would live in God's Love.
Some examples include: "Someone on the playground pushed you down. What would you do to show you live in God's love?"
"You are waiting in line at the water fountain. Someone comes from behind and cuts in front of you. What would you do to show you live in God's love?"
"You just painted a beautiful picture. Someone tears your paper. What would you do to show you live in God's love?"
Hands of LoveJesus died on the cross because of his love for us. We can show love for Jesus. Have the children trace one of their hands on a piece of construction paper. Help them cut out them out. Invite the children to draw on their hands one way they can show love, such as setting the table, picking up toys, helping others. Place these handprints in the shape of a cross on the bulletin board.
Proclaiming Faith Activities
Fire in the HeartJeremiah says the love for God's word is like a fire in the heart. Pick out three sentences from today's scripture,
write them down and learn them "by heart." You may want to carry them around with you until you know them.
Prayer is not only talking to God, but also listening for a response. How might a compassionate and loving God
respond to these prayers of the prophet:
Lord, I feel as if you have let me down. Why do you let others laugh at me?
God's response __________________________________________________
Lord, sometimes when I try so hard I fall flat on my face. Where are you when I need you to help me?
God's response ___________________________________________________
Lord, even when I am angry with you, the fire of love for you still burns in my heart.
God's response ____________________________________________________
Take Up the CrossEvery disciple of Jesus must be willing to take up a cross as a sign of love. Choose one of these crosses or add another idea. Tell how you can carry this cross faithfully.
- something I have to do that I don't like
- something about myself that I can't change
- someone I am finding it hard to get along with at this time
- something that needs to be changed in the world
add another idea __________________________________
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