November 1st, 2007 (see other dates)
Feast of All Saints (solemnity and holy day of obligation)
Discussion Questions for Reading 1Where does this huge crowd of saints come from, according to today's reading? In the great liturgy of the kingdom described in today's reading, what are two prayers that are said? How does this scripture explain the white robes that are being worn in this image of the kingdom?
Reading 1 1 Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14
Reading 1 ReflectionThe Book of Revelation presents us with visions of God's kingdom and all of the saints who are there. This reading describes a great gathering of believers who are singing and praying their hearts out. All people who have lived well and intensely applied themselves to the task of being fully human are celebrated in today's feast. Some are declared saints of the Catholic Church and we see their images in stained glass and statues. Some are given a special day to commemorate their lives and deeds. Others are unknown people who have lived holy lives. We are united with all of them in the great community of saints. Today is their feast day.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2What name does the Father's love give us? Is this just a name that we are called? What does Paul say about what we will be later? Underline your favorite phrase from this reading. Why did you select this phrase? Name one way you can show that you belong to God.
Reading 2 1 John 3:1-3
Reading 2 ReflectionIf God were to sing us the message of this reading, the song might be called "You Belong To Me." God's love for us is so great that for us to be just friends or followers of God would not be enough. We belong to God as daughters and sons. We are members of the family of saints, both the living and the dead. By the way we live our faith, we reflect our family resemblance to the to the Son of God.
Discussion Questions for GospelCan you think of a person or a group of persons who give us an example of one of these beatitudes? Jesus tells us they will be rewarded. Are they close to being saints? Which, at this point in your life, is your favorite beatitude? Why did you choose this one? What questions do you have about the insults and persecution mentioned at the end of this reading? How do you think saints and prophets might be related?
Gospel Matthew 5:1-12a
Gospel ReflectionHow do men, women, and children become saints? They share the attitudes of Jesus. Today's gospel gives us the Beatitudes, Jesus' guidelines to holiness and happiness. These surprising guidelines remind us that the attitudes of Jesus are often the exact opposite of the world's attitudes. He does not say, "Blest are the powerful" or "Blest are those who conquer their enemies." Jesus insists that true happiness comes to those who trust God and do God's will. The beatitudes challenge us to be merciful and faithful, holy, and dedicated to justice and peace. How could you act to demonstrate one or more of these attitudes of Jesus?
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
A Walk with the SaintsWe often remember saints through pictures, mosaics, statues, and stained glass. Take the children for a walk through the parish church and surrounding area, looking for various ways saints are depicted. Write down the names of the saints that are found, and share their stories.
A Feast Day TreatExplain to the children that All Saints Day is the feast of all the people who have died and are with God in heaven. Also explain that we do not know the names of all the saints.
Help the children make stained-glass cookies. Provide each child with a graham cracker. Have the children spread white icing on the crackers. Using black gel icing, have them draw a picture of a cross, a heart, or a flower on the white icing. Then provide various colors of sugar or sprinkles for the children to use to fill in the "stained glass." Allow them to eat and enjoy their windows.
Proclaiming Faith Activities
I Want to be There in That NumberThe huge crowd of people from every nation, race, and tongue sang praises to God. Two songs we all know that remind us of this feast are "Amazing Grace" and "When the Saints Go Marching In." Sing them to yourself, or sing out with a group of friends to celebrate the saints' feast day. Or choose another song or hymn. Choose a line from one of these songs and tell why you like it.
Blossoming in HolinessThink for a moment of some gifts you have received from God as a person. Draw three simple flowers like a daisy or sunflower, and in the center of each flower write this gift. If you help this gift to grow, you can grow in holiness and become a saint.
Our Heroes9/11/01 was a tragic moment for our country, but we learned something about holiness from the heroic lives of those involved. Fill in the blanks of the "blessings" below with the names of some of the kinds of persons who were heroes of that day. [E.g., architects, firefighters, army personnel, sanitation workers, office workers, policemen and women plane passengers, families of the victims, government leaders, victims of the planes, survivors]
Blessed are you __________________________ for you ran in to save people from burning buildings.
Blessed are you __________________________ who were working in the Pentagon in Washington DC.
Blessed are you __________________________ for you went to work in your office in New York City.
Blessed are you __________________________ for you called someone you loved on the phone before you died.
Blessed are you __________________________ for you mourned your loved ones.
Blessed are you___________________________ for you helped the city and country understand and respond to what happened.
Blessed are you ___________________________ for you worked for many months in the difficult job of cleanup.
Blessed are you ___________________________ for you dream and plan for a rebuilt city.
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