Produce good fruit
October 5th, 2014 (see other dates)
Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Discussion Questions for Reading 1Does it sound as if Isaiah wrote this message for our times? What are some things this song describes as part of the work of cultivating a vineyard ? When God is disappointed after wild grapes appear, how does this parable describe the ruin of the vineyard? Why might God be disappointed with ancient Israel, or with the Church, or with the human community, or with people your age?
Reading 1 Isaiah 5:1-7
Reading 1 ReflectionThink of your favorite song. Does it tell a story? Does it in some way help you to be a better person? The song Isaiah offers God's people in today's reading does just that. Isaiah describes God as the owner of a beautiful vineyard that has been carefully tended. The owner does everything possible to produce a healthy crop of grapes. But he winds up with sour wild grapes. Isaiah's song is a parable in which he compares God's people to a vineyard that produces sour grapes. This happens because they have failed to produce good works. They ignore the poor and treat others unjustly.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2What are some things that we worry about or are anxious about? What does St. Paul say we should do instead of worrying? When we worry, why would it be good to think and pray about what we are thankful for? What are some of those things we are thankful for?
Reading 2 Philippians 4:6-9
Reading 2 ReflectionIf some of us spent as much time praying as we do worrying, we would experience God's peace in our hearts. Paul encourages us to thank God and ask God for all that we need. Instead of thinking so much about our troubles and failings, we are to think more about what is good in our lives. Most importantly, we are to keep on doing virtuous actions.
Discussion Questions for GospelCan you find the scriptures that Jesus quotes while telling this parable? Name the people and things that were rejected in this parable.
When Jesus was telling the story of what happened to the prophets and to the son, how do you think he must have felt? Are we rejecting any of God's messengers, or in any way rejecting Jesus? How can we accept Jesus and his messengers in our lives? What prayers can help us offer the harvest of our lives and work to God?
Gospel Matthew 21:33-43
Gospel ReflectionJesus compares God to a vineyard owner whose messengers go to the tenants of the vineyard to collect his share of the grapes at harvest time. But the tenants beat, stone, or murder the owner's messengers. When the owner sends his son, the tenants treat him as they did the messenger. They kill the son, hoping to keep the vineyard, his inheritance, for themselves.
The son in the parable is Jesus, of course, and the messengers are God's prophets, who speak in God's name. Jesus is reminding us that the kingdom will be taken away from those who do not give God a harvest of good works.
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
No More Sour GrapesIn the first reading, Isaiah compares God's people to wild grapes. God?s people have not treated others fairly or with kindness. Talk with the children about ways we could treat others with kindness. Provide each child with a small paper plate. Have the children paint these plates a light shade of green or purple. Encourage the children to draw or write one way in which they can be kind to others on this painted plate. Arrange these plates on a bulletin board to resemble a bunch of grapes. Add a stem and greenery.
People of JoyIn the second reading, Paul calls us to rejoice in God rather than to worry; to focus on all the good we have in our lives instead of dwelling on our troubles. Paul urges us to rejoice always.
Place an empty box with a lid on the prayer table. Encourage the children write or illustrate something that they are concerned about. Have the children fold these and place them in the box on the prayer table. Gather the children around the prayer table and offer the following prayer. Dear Lord, we give our concerns and worries to you. Fill us with your joy and peace. May we rejoice in you always. Amen. Conclude by singing a joyful song.
Proclaiming Faith Activities
A Song in My HeartIsaiah's song told a story about God. Music helps us to say what we are feeling. Can you name three songs that have helped you to want to be a better person, or that have made you feel happy or proud? Write some lines that you remember from these songs.
Or get together with some others and sing one of these songs.
Counting Our BlessingsSt. Paul tells us to make our prayers full of gratitude. List three things that you are grateful for. Write a prayer thanking God for these things and all the good things in your life. Ask God's peace for yourself and for others, especially those who are anxious or worried. Share these prayers with others in your group.
Our VineyardGod has work for each of us to do, our "vineyard." What is your work right now in your life? What is its harvest? Draw a picture of yourself working or harvesting.
For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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