August 11th, 2013 (see other dates)
Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Discussion Questions for Reading 1It is wise to recall the many ways God has guided and protected us in the past. How has God cared for you in the past? your family? your parish? List some examples of God's guidance and protection.
Reading 1 Wisdom 18:6-9
Reading 1 ReflectionThe most memorable event in the early history of the Israelites was their exodus from Egypt. God led them out of slavery and saved them from their enemies. Today's reading recalls God's special care and protection of the Israelites. The author sees God's people as "the holy children of the good" who have cooperated with God's plan for salvation.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2The writer of this letter shows that faith in God leads to action. If we trust in God, we can move forward in life. Do you have faith in God's care for you? How can you show that you trust in God? Is God calling you to a deeper faith? How? What forward step can you take that, without faith in God, would be more difficult or impossible for you?
Reading 2 Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19 or 11:1-2, 8-12
Reading 2 ReflectionBecause the Israelites believed, God saved them. Today's second reading recalls how our early faith ancestors placed their trust in God. Abraham and Sarah left their comfortable home and went to an unknown land because God called them. When God promised that they would have a son (Isaac), they were old enough to be great-grandparents. But they believed. They had the virtue of faith, a lasting confidence that God's word would be fulfilled.
Discussion Questions for GospelIf you read this Gospel again carefully, you will discover that Jesus is comparing himself to a thief! Just as we would "watch out" for a thief, so we must "watch out" for the coming of the Lord. One saint said of Jesus, "He steals our hearts!" However, we must be clear: Jesus always respects our freedom. We can say yes or no when he comes. The question is: When Jesus comes, will you want to keep your door closed, or open it up wide? Are you going to wait until the end of time to welcome Jesus, or can you begin today? How?
Gospel ReflectionOne way Christians can prove that they are a people of faith is to live every day as though they expect Jesus to return. Today's gospel urges us to be awake and on the watch like servants awaiting the master's return home. We should be "on guard" against anyone or anything that leads us astray from Christ. Since no one knows when the final judgment will happen, the wise person will always be prepared for it.
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
Be WatchfulIn the gospel, we are told to be watchful for the return of Jesus.
To illustrate this point with the children, help them make binoculars. Give each child two 5 ounce paper cups. Have the children tear or cut out the bottoms of the cups. Then help them staple them together. Punch holes in the sides and attach a piece of yarn or string. Let the children decorate these binoculars with stickers.
The Lord Shields UsIn the responsorial psalm we hear that the Lord helps and shields those that he has chosen to be his own. Copy the pattern of the shield on tag board for each child. Provide art materials and magazines for the children to use. Encourage them to decorate the shield to represent themselves.
Proclaiming Faith Activities
Shining Stars of FaithToday's second reading tells us that because Abraham was a man of faith, he would have "descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sands on the seashore." As persons of faith, we can share the gift of faith with others, too. On a separate piece of paper, draw three large stars. On each star, write one quality of a person of faith. (Suggestions: trusting in God, prayerful, welcoming Jesus, helpful to others, etc.)
If these qualities remind you of someone you know, write that person's name in the star.
Then cut out the stars, staple them to a paper chain or string, and hang them in your group's meeting place. Choose one quality you would like to have more of in your life.
Find ways to do that this week.
Wake-Up RapsRap music relies on rhythm and rhyme to communicate a message. Complete these examples or write your own to alert listeners to stay awake for Jesus' return.
Stay awake, friends.
You don't know the hour.
Jesus is coming
And he's got the _______________.
Live like the end
Is right around the corner.
Do the right thing now
Don't put it off!
Do good today!
Christian, are you ready?
For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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