It is the Lord!
April 14th, 2013 (see other dates)
Third Sunday of Easter
Discussion Questions for Reading 1Do you remember that, shortly after the death of Jesus, the apostles were so frightened that they hid in an upper room and locked the doors? After reading today's scripture passage, how would you describe their behavior? Why do you think they are acting so differently?
How will you try to obey God's will even when it is not popular to do so? Where will you find help and support?
Reading 1 Acts 5:27-32, 40b-41
Reading 1 ReflectionIf our readings each had titles, this one could be called "Brave Heroes Spread Good News." Although Peter and some of the other apostles had been imprisoned and beaten, they continued to preach in Jesus' name. They also dared to accuse the religious authorities of putting Jesus to death. Despite the danger to themselves, the apostles spoke out with great courage. "We must obey God rather than men," they proclaimed. Now that they were filled with the Holy Spirit, facing danger for Jesus' sake actually made them joyful!
Discussion Questions for Reading 2Have you ever had a dream in which animals could talk? This is the kind of vision John had. "Every creature" joined the angels and the elders in praise. The resurrection of Jesus affected every creature in the world.
Of course we know that, in the everyday world, animals do not speak in human language. However, they do praise God simply by being--by running, jumping, eating, and sleeping. We need animals, even the tiniest insects, to help keep our world in balance. Animals also help make the world a more beautiful and happier place.
God intended for all his creation to live in harmony. God wants us to care for all creation. What does that tell us about the place of animals in our world? How can you help the wild animals in our world, especially the ones in danger of extinction? If you have a pet, how can you be a responsible pet owner? How can you show respect for and kindness to animals as creatures of God?
Reading 2 Revelations 5:11-14
Reading 2 ReflectionThe title of the second reading might be "All Creation Praises the Lamb." It describes a vision of the heavenly court in which a huge crowd of angels and all living beings are gathered. They are all singing the praises of the Lamb of God, Jesus the Lord. By his death and resurrection, Jesus has reconciled us with God and given us cause for great joy.
Discussion Questions for GospelReread the passages in this gospel passage in which Jesus tells the apostles to lower their net on the other side of the boat. Why do you think the apostles took Jesus' advice? Suppose they had had the know-it-all attitude, "Well, what does Jesus know about fishing? He was a carpenter, not a fisherman. We're the professionals here!" Where would this arrogance have gotten them?
Saint Benedict told his monks to be sure to ask the youngest in the monastery for advice, because often God reveals his will to the "least likely" person. What does this tell you about seeking an answer to a problem you might have?
We share a special meal as Jesus' disciples today. It is the Eucharist. We also recognize that Jesus calls us to care for others. How will you show your love to those who join in the celebration of the Eucharist with you?
Gospel John 21:1-19 or 21:1-14
Gospel ReflectionThe title of this wonderful story from John's Gospel might be "Surprise Picnic at the Beach." In a very human way, it shows the great love Jesus and his friends had for one another. While the disciples are out fishing, the risen Christ appears on the shore at Lake Tiberias. They are anchored at a distance and do not recognize him. But when they follow his advice and wind up with a sagging net full of fish, John figures out that the stranger is Jesus. Coming ashore, they enjoy the picnic breakfast Jesus has prepared for them.
Although our reading stops after the meal itself, we know from the rest of the Gospel that Jesus called Peter aside after they ate. He asked Peter to "feed my lambs. Tend my sheep."
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
Jesus Lives in UsIn the gospel reading, the apostles do not recognize the risen Jesus. Then John says, "It is the Lord!" Explain to the children that Jesus lives in each of us today. To reinforce this concept, gather the children in a circle. Have each child say one way another child in the class is like Jesus. Continue until all children have a turn.
Picnic on the BeachReenact the gospel reading in which Jesus prepares and feeds his apostles a breakfast of bread and fish. Make a "fire" using paper towel spools for logs and yellow, orange, and red tissue paper for the flames. Gather the children around the "fire." "Cook" gummi fish or goldfish crackers and small rolls of bread on the "fire." Enjoy this meal as a class.
Proclaiming Faith Activities
Planning a PicnicThe Easter season is a time for celebrating joyfully. Imagine how the disciples must have celebrated every time the risen Jesus reappeared among them! Plan an Easter season picnic based on today's Gospel. If the spring weather in your area is still chilly, an indoor picnic might be fun!
How many guests? ___________
Members of the crew (who will collect food):
Food items (your version of bread and fish):
Members of acting troupe (who will act out the Gospel story):
How will you do your part to make the Easter picnic a success?
Speaking Out under FireConsider the bravery of Peter's words, "We must obey God rather than men." Imagine how you and a few good friends might live up to these words of Peter in the following situations.
Other youths make fun of you for getting out of bed to go to church on Sunday mornings.
Suggestion: Make a good-humored response such as, "Some things are worth getting out of bed for. Not many--but some."
An adult or older teen tells you that it is a waste of time to read and study the Bible.
Suggestion: Give an example of a way reflecting on God's word has helped you.
For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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