Talents and Gifts
November 16th, 2014 (see other dates)
Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Discussion Questions for Reading 1What makes a person worthy? What are some accomplishments of the woman in the reading? What does it mean to say, "beauty is fleeting"? How does the writer describe this woman's care for the poor? Do your "works" praise you?
Reading 1 Proverbs 31:10-13,19-20, 30-31
Reading 1 ReflectionThe woman in today's reading is described as a treasure. She has chosen to use her considerable talents as a wife. She is creative and has a head for business. She cares not only for her family but also for the needy whom she serves. She honors the Lord and is honored in turn by those who know her. Her beauty comes from within, because her spirit is focused on God. In her wisdom, she brings goodness to her husband.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2What does the "day of the Lord" mean? Is this day expected or unexpected? Why? How do you think we can become "children of the light?" When is one in darkness?
Reading 2 1 Thessalonians 5,1-6
Reading 2 ReflectionSaint Paul is a little like Paul Revere in today's second reading. He is sounding the alarm to wake up those Christians who are forgetting to act as "children of the light" right now. Paul says that they have to be awake and be prepared for the Lord's coming at the end of time.
Discussion Questions for GospelWhen the wise servants report to their master, he says, "Come share your master's joy." Have you ever felt joy after you have done a good job at something? When God gives talents and blessings, what does he expect? What does it mean to "settle accounts?" Why does the third servant bury his funds? Have you ever been afraid to do something good? What makes you afraid? In the first reading, the woman was praised for "fear of the Lord." In this gospel, fear got the servant into trouble. What is the difference between "fear" and "fear of the Lord?"
Gospel ReflectionWhy do you think Jesus told his disciples the parable in today's reading? Perhaps he does not want them to mistake being humble with hiding ones skills and abilities. Each of the three servants receives a certain amount of money from the master. The first two servants use their gift wisely and increase their master's investment. But the third servant, out of fear and lack of self-confidence, buries the money. When the master returns, that servant has nothing to offer him but the small amount received in the first place.
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
Children of the LightIn the second reading, Saint Paul tells us that we are children of the light. Make a bulletin board illustrating this. Cut out "candles" from construction paper, 4" by 6". Have each child write his or her name on one of these and decorate as desired. Place the candles along the bottom of a bulletin board. Have children trace their hands with fingers together on yellow construction paper and cut out. Attach these as flames to the candles.
Rich in GiftsJesus' parable in the Gospel of Matthew informs us that we need to use the gifts God has given us. In this way, they will be multiplied. Trace a three-inch circle on tag board and cut one out for each child. Have each child illustrate one gift he/she has received from God on this "coin." Place two mirrors together at an angle. Place the "coins" in front of the mirrors so they are reflected continuously, appearing to have multiplied many times.
Proclaiming Faith Activities
The Valiant WomanA. Draw a simple picture of a person extending her arms. List or draw persons who in our day need to have arms extended to them, people who need a hand or need hugs. Extend you own arms. While they are extended, say a prayer to God to help you become the kind of person you hope to be, a valiant woman or man.
B. Trace the outline of your two hands. You can do many things with these hands. On one hand print the things you can do now to help people in need or to make others happy. On the other hand, print some things you would like to learn to do so that you can help others better in the future.
Gaining and LosingList some gifts and talents and blessings that God has given you. Choose three of these and draw icons for them. Choose three (the same ones or different ones) and write what it would mean to invest or improve them and gain more talents, and what it would mean to bury them and lose them.
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