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This Week's Liturgy

Love your neighbor

October 26th, 2014 (see other dates)

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Discussion Questions for Reading 1

Who are the people named in this reading as needing special care? Give some reasons why these same people may need special care today. Would you add some other people to this list? What is the meaning of the phrase that God uses to describe why their cries will be heard: "I am compassionate"?

Reading 1 Exodus 22: 20-26

Reading 1 Reflection

As we see in the first reading from the Book of Exodus, after the Ten Commandments were given to Moses, God spelled out other ways in which the Israelites should live the covenant. These individual laws give clear guidance on relating to God and others. They also carry a threat of punishment for those who ignore the needy. Aliens, widows, orphans, and poor debtors are to be treated with compassion. If their cries for help are not answered, God says, "I will surely hear their cry." This reading erases any doubt about how important it is to treat those in need with compassion, understanding their suffering and taking action to change what is causing it.

Discussion Questions for Reading 2

St. Paul says his followers have received the word with the joy that comes from the Holy Spirit. What does this mean? Have you ever experienced joy in praying, singing hymns, visiting a church, experiencing God's presence in nature, or doing a good deed? How can the word of God echo forth from you resoundingly?

Reading 2 1 Thessalonians 11:5-10

Reading 2 Reflection

In this reading St. Paul is filled with gratitude that the new Christians of Thessalonica are following his example. They are not keeping the faith to themselves. They are imitating Paul by letting the gospel echo from their lives for all to hear. The students have become the teachers.

Discussion Questions for Gospel

Why do you think most people say that this is the most important teaching of Jesus? Why is it called the "law of love"? How does this sum up the ten commandments and other teachings of Jesus? Who are our neighbors? What does "as yourself" mean?

Gospel Matthew 22: 34-40

Gospel Reflection

When you heard the Pharisee's question to Jesus, did you know what the answer would be? If not, now would be a good time to learn the answer by heart. Which is the greatest commandment? Jesus quotes the law of love in two parts. First we must love God with our entire selves. Out of that love of God grows the love of others. We must love our neighbors with as much care and concern as we have for ourselves. Does it seem very easy to love? As we try to do it, we will find it can be very difficult.

Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades

Love God and Neighbor

Re-read today's gospel, Matthew 22:34-40, to the children. Explain that we are called to love God and love others.

Give each child a heart cut from construction paper. On one side, help them write the word God and on the other side help them write the word Others. Encourage the children to decorate the hearts with glitter, sequins, markers, and other craft materials. Punch a hole in the top of the heart. Place a length of string or yarn through the hole. Then hang the hearts from the ceiling as a reminder of the Gospel message.

Necklaces of Love

To help the children always remember the Great Commandment, make heart necklaces.

Provide each child with three hearts cut from red or pink craft foam. Punch two holes in the top of each heart. Thread a piece of yarn or ribbon through each heart to make a necklace. On one side of the hearts, write the letter G on the first heart, the letter O on the second heart, and the letter D on the third heart. On the other side of the hearts, write the letters OT on the first heart, the letters HE on the second heart, and the letters RS on the third heart. Tie the ends of the yarn or ribbon together to make a necklace. Encourage the children to wear their necklaces as a reminder to love God and others.

Proclaiming Faith Activities

Living the Law

The laws given in today's first reading are part of the covenant code God gave to Israel. They require us to hear and respond to the cries of the needy. Explore below how you will live by this code.

  • Have you ever felt like an alien or stranger, or felt very different from others in your own world of school, job, parties, or play? Remember those feelings. Decide what you will do to help an outsider.

    I will live the code by ____________________________________________________.
  • Have you ever felt like an orphan? Recall those feelings. Do you know anyone who has lost a parent by death or separation, or who needs friends? Decide what you will do for this person.

    I will live the code by __________________________________________________.

Learning Compassion

In the first reading God says, I am compassionate." Compassion means "to suffer with." It is partly the feeling we get
when we see a very poor neighborhood or country, or see pictures of starving children, or people who are ill, or people
to whom an injustice is being done. Have you ever felt compassion? What was the situation that caused this feeling?


What are you learning that could be done for these neighbors?


Share your answers to these two questions with one other person.

Law of Love T-Shirt

Jesus' law of love is to be engraved on our minds and hearts so we will never forget it. Design a T-shirt that will remind yourself and others what the law of love is, or give an idea on how to follow the law of love. Be as creative with your ideas as you can.

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