This Week's Liturgy
Will He Find Faith?
October 20th, 2013 (see other dates)
Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Discussion Questions for Reading 1Have you or your family ever gone through difficult times and yet persisted in prayer? Tell about it. Moses did not pray alone. He had help. What do you think this says about prayer with others?
Do you remember learning about "the communion of saints?" In heaven and on earth, we are united as members of the body of Christ. In this way we pray for and support one another. Who supports you in prayer, in heaven and on earth? Whom do you support in prayer?
Reading 1 Exodus 17:8-13
Reading 1 ReflectionThe author of Exodus narrates a strange and surprising war story. After Moses leads them out of Egypt, the Israelites are on their way to Canaan, the Promised Land. But they are attacked by desert tribes called Amalekites. Little do these tribes know that the Israelites have a "secret weapon." As long as Moses' hands remain raised in prayer, the Amalekites keep losing. And when Moses can no longer keep his arms in the air, his two companions hold them up for him. So the desert tribes do not stand a chance against Joshua's forces. The Israelites are assured once again that God is guiding and protecting them.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2A coach stood before his team. "At every practice session, I am going to correct you. You may not like to hear the things you are doing wrong, but it is my job to point them out. Why? To help you become a better player. If I correct you, it's only because I see that you have the potential to be better. It's when I don't correct you that you should worry, because that might mean I just don't care!"
How was this coach trying to help his players? Why is he a good coach?
A parent or a teacher is like a coach--only a parent or teacher has a much bigger job. A parent, teacher, grandparent, or other relative has the job of coaching you into becoming a good, loving person: a true child of God. You may not like to hear all that your "Head Coach" (Mom, Dad, Gran, or teacher) has to say. Can you give some examples of things that are hard to hear? How do you respond to these corrections?
You might try this response: "Thanks for caring, Coach!" You might like to write a "Thanks for Caring" note to your parents or teacher right now!
Friends also have a "coaching job" to do for each other. This is part of what friendship is all about. When has a friend coached you into doing the best you could, or doing the right thing when you were tempted not to? Write a "Thanks for Caring" note to that friend.
Then thank God for all the coaches in your life!
Reading 2 2 Timothy 3:14-4:2
Reading 2 ReflectionIn this reading Timothy is instructed to be faithful to his ministry as a preacher of God's Word. Timothy is to preach what he learned from his holy teachers and from the Scriptures. He must preach even the truths that people to do not want to hear. And he must continue to communicate God's word, whether people accept it or not.
Discussion Questions for GospelJesus himself provides a discussion question for this gospel: "When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?" What do you think? How will you try to be one of these faithful ones?
The widow's first and last request was not for privilege but for justice. In his encyclical, "On the Development of Peoples," Pope Paul VI (who was the pope immediately before Pope John Paul II) urged all Catholics and all people of the world to work for both justice and peace. How can you work and pray for justice and peace in our time?
Gospel Luke 18:1-8
Gospel ReflectionJust as our first reading was a victory story, so is the parable Jesus tells about the widow and the judge. A lowly widow comes before a judge, seeking her rights. The immoral judge ignores her, but the widow goes on pleading and nagging until he finally decides the case in her favor. He helps the widow not because he is good but because she is persistent. Jesus concludes that if a corrupt judge can do justice to someone who keeps on asking, God, the most just judge of all, will certainly listen to those who persist in prayer.
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
Role PlayRead aloud the following situations and have the children act them out, adding their own ending.
a) Your classmate left a toy that you would like outside after recess. What do you do?
b) You are building with blocks or Lego. A classmate comes to join you and takes many of the blocks to make his own building. What do you do?
c) You see a quarter fall out of a friend's pocket when she is jumping rope. What do you do?
A Book of ServiceEach week, discuss with the children how they as a class can serve others. Select one act of service and do it. Write about what was done and place this page in a binder. Have all the children who participated place a smiley face sticker on the page as a symbol of the happiness they shared. Continue this each week of the school year and watch the Book of Service grow.
Proclaiming Faith Activities
We Pray to the LordEach week at Mass we pray the General Intercessions, or Prayer of the Faithful. These are special prayers for the needs of the Church, for world leaders, for the sick and suffering, and for our community. Very often we do not even know all the people for whom we are praying. But they are counting on our prayers.
Think for a moment about people you want to support in prayer. Now make up your own General Intercessions. Write them below. For the Church
For world leaders (name one or two who need special prayers at this time)
For the sick and suffering (Do you know anyone who needs prayers in time of illness?)
For your parish community
Pray together: For all young people, that they may be strong witnesses of the gospel, let us pray to the Lord.
Keep on PrayingThe widow in Jesus' parable was not wishy-washy in making her request. She went right on asking until she finally won her rights. What important matter might you and your friends be willing to pray and work for? If you did not succeed at first, would you keep on praying? Fill in the Prayer Campaign Strategy below.
Prayer Campaign Strategy
- Important matter: ___________________
(Equal rights, nonviolence, the right to life, racial harmony, etc.)
- When and how to pray:
(Monthly youth liturgy, weekly prayer service, daily Our Father, original prayers)
- When and how to work:
(Remember that things do not change overnight. Saint Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, wrote: "Act as if everything depended on you. Pray as if everything depended on God.")
Suggestions: consult parish council, contact community agencies, write letters to editors in newspapers, write or e-mail local, state, and national leaders)
- Who will pray:
- Who will help and encourage you to keep on praying:
For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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