This Week's Liturgy
"I can see"
April 3rd, 2011 (see other dates)
Fourth Sunday of Lent
Discussion Questions for Reading 1Have you ever heard the saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover"? What do you think it means? How does this saying relate to what God says about not judging by appearances?
Do you find yourself judging by appearances at times? Why? When? Can you think of a time when your prejudice (pre-judgment) was later proven wrong? Have you ever been "judged by appearance"? Tell about it. How will you follow God's advice to Samuel?
Reading 1 1 Samuel 16:1, 6-7, 10-13a
Reading 1 ReflectionGod sends the prophet Samuel on an important mission. Samuel is to find and anoint the future king of Israel. But when Samuel finds the man he thinks is just right for the job, God tells him that he has made a mistake. God's advice is: Don't judge by how important a person might seem, for I look into the heart. The prophet listens to God's advice. He chooses the youngest son of Jesse of Bethlehem. This shepherd boy is athletic and handsome. Yet only God sees in David the potential to be Israel's greatest king and the ancestor of the Messiah.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2One of the meanings of Baptism is "enlightenment." At Baptism, we receive a lighted candle as a symbol of Christ's light in our lives. With Christ, we stand against the darkness. Can you give names to the "darkness" you face in your world or in the larger world that we share? How will you let the light of Christ shine through you?
Reading 2 Ephesians 5:8-14
Reading 2 ReflectionAs we move forward to Easter during this Lenten season, we have thought about the meaning of Baptism. This reading reminds us of the courage we need to have as followers of Christ. The world is not an easy place to share the good news, but it needs to see the light of Christ's truth in us.
Discussion Questions for GospelThe first verse of the hymn "Amazing Grace" reminds us of this gospel passage. Why? Here are the words:
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now I'm found,
Was blind but now I see.
Who are the "truly blind" people in this gospel story? How can you keep from going through life "blind" to the reality of Jesus and his love in your life? How will you stay alert to really see and care for those who need Jesus' healing touch?
Gospel ReflectionJohn's story of the man born blind weaves together the themes of light, sight, and insight. Jesus heals the man so that he can see. However, the Pharisees remain blind because they refuse to see who Jesus really is. They are more concerned about the Sabbath laws than they are about a fellow human being in need.
The blind man gains not only his sight but also insight. When Jesus identifies himself as the Son of Man, a title for the Messiah, the man says, "I do believe, Lord." And he worships Jesus. As we worship Jesus in the Eucharist, our eyes are opened to see Christ in others.
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
Choices from the HeartExplain to the children that the first reading today is the story of a shepherd boy named David. God chose David to be king of Israel. God chose David because God could see that David had a good heart, he always wanted to do what God wants.
Remind the children that God chooses us, too. Like David, we each have a special job, or mission, to do in life.
Distribute the reproducible master. Give the children time to reflect: What is the mission God is asking of you today? (Suggestions: help out at home, do my schoolwork, be a good friend) After writing the mission for the day, the children may want to decorate the heart.
I Do BelievePoint out to the children that sometimes each one of us is like the blind man in today's gospel. When the blind man believed in Jesus, he could see. The more we get to know Jesus, the better we can see our way to follow Jesus.
Guide the children in a meditation: Let's close our eyes. Think about the love of Jesus. Quietly tell Jesus that you believe in him. Quietly tell Jesus how much you love him. Pray the following and then add your own:
Jesus, you heal the sick. . . . I do believe!
Jesus, you help those in need. . . . I do believe!
Jesus, you forgive us. . . . I do believe!
Jesus, you share your love. . . . I do believe!
Jesus, ________________ . . . I do believe!
Proclaiming Faith Activities
Creating a Light PoemThe poem below is called a cinquain. (Cinq is French for "five" and this poem has a set format of five lines.) It is about Christ our Light. Write your own cinquain beside it. Notice that each line has a set number of syllables. An example is given below.
You are our Light
Source of caring insight
Help us to do what is good and right
Let your light shine
Be our bread, be our wine
We are your branches, you our vine
Do you know someone who might like to receive your cinquain? How will you get it to that person?
Serving the BlindPeople may be blind in many ways. Some do not have physical sight. Some lack insight into others' hearts. Some refuse to see the truth because they do not want to change. Decide how you will serve the "blind" in one or more of these situations.
For a person who does not have physical sight, I will ________________________.
*Suggestions: read aloud to him, do errands for her.
Note: There may be a group in your town dedicated to helping blind or visually impaired people. You might like to ask a member of that group to speak about the challenges of being visually impaired or blind, and what fully-sighted people can do to help if and when needed.
Sometimes blind or physically challenged people are treated as "problems" even by well-meaning people. Or they are treated as incompetent, or as if they are simply not there. (A woman and her husband, who is blind and used a cane, were being seated in a restaurant. The waitress said, "I am putting you here, out of the way, so he won?t trip over things." The husband let it go, but his wife was shocked at the remark. "My husband does NOT trip over things! He has traveled all of his life, all over the world!") You might want to ask about the use of canes and seeing-eye dogs. Why and how are they used? How can we make things easier for someone with a cane or a seeing-eye dog?
For a person who lacks insight and judges others by appearances, I will ____________
Point out that we need to be like God, who judges by the heart.
For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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