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This Week's Liturgy

The Vineyard

September 28th, 2014 (see other dates)

Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Discussion Questions for Reading 1

Have you ever heard someone say, "Why did God do this?" What does the reading from Ezekiel tell us that God might answer? What choice do we have? Will you look at your life to see what God is asking of you?

Reading 1 Ezekiel 18:25-28

Reading 1 Reflection

We can either turn our lives toward God or away from God. The choice is ours to make. We must choose between a life of virtue or a life of sin. And God, in turn, will judge each one according to his or her choice. Some people complained to Ezekiel the prophet that this was not fair of God. But God turned the tables on them by saying that they were the ones who were unfair in trying to get out of their responsibility.

Discussion Questions for Reading 2

Paul writes that the Philippians can make his joy complete. How? He says they have given him encouragement. How? What virtues does he mention that could make our attitudes more Christ-like? Who encourages you? How?

Reading 2 Philippians 2:1-11 or 2:1-5

Reading 2 Reflection

The second reading is taken from what has been called Paul's letter of joy. He is writing to the Christians of Philippi, whom he dearly loves. To be one in Christ with his friends is Paul's great desire. What joy they will experience if they put on the attitude of Christ toward others and if they put aside all selfishness!

Discussion Questions for Gospel

Have you ever said, "yes" to someone and then not done what you agreed to do? Did you ever say "no" to someone who asked you (like a parent or teacher) but then regretted it and changed your mind? Jesus is making it clear that sinners who repent are entering the kingdom before the priests and elders who did not repent and believe. What do you think of this?

Gospel Matthew 21:28-32

Gospel Reflection

Jesus tells a parable to a group of religious leaders. He wants them to figure out which one of the sons did his father's will. Was it the one who said yes but never showed up? Or was it the one who said no but later repented and carried out the father's wishes. Sometimes people can deceive us by smooth talk. But God is never deceived. Like Jesus, our lives can be a "yes" to God the Father in word and deed.

Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades

Of One Mind and Heart

Saint Paul encourages his listeners to have the same attitude as Christ. He tells the Philippians to be of one mind and heart and to put others before themselves.

Have the children make cards to be given to the elderly, sick, or other people in need. Give each child a piece of white construction paper, folded in half. Provide various sizes of heart patterns and colored construction paper. Encourage the children to trace the patterns and cut out several hearts. Have them glue these to the front of the card, making a bouquet. Provide markers and crayons for the children to embellish their designs. On the inside of the card, help the children write the following: May Jesus' love and joy be with you. Have the children sign their names.

Yes, Lord

Share the gospel reading, Matthew 21:28-32, with the children. Have them act out it out. Then lead them in a discussion about saying "yes" to being followers of Jesus. Explain that we say yes to sharing Jesus' love in both words and deeds. Make Yes Badges as a reminder of this. Reproduce the badge pattern for each child. Write the words: Yes in Words and Deeds on the badges. Have the children cut them out and decorate them with markers, sequins, and other craft materials. Then pin the badges on the children as a reminder to say yes to following Jesus' ways of loving others.

Proclaiming Faith Activities

Letter From the Heart

St. Paul tells his friends how happy they make him because they are good and virtuous people. Write a letter to a family member or friend telling them why you are happy to honor them. Promise to pray for them.

Your Choice: Yes or No

Make 2 columns. Put yes at the top of one and no at the top of the other. In the yes column, write some ways that people your age can say "yes" to what God asks of you. In the no column, write some ways people say "no" to what God wants.

For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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