This Week's Liturgy
January 17th, 2016 (see other dates)
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Discussion Questions for Reading 1Recall a time when your faith in God during a crisis was rewarded. How will you celebrate God's faithfulness—and your own—today?
Reading 1 Isaiah 62:1-5
Reading 1 ReflectionA Word on Ordinary Time
Now that the Christmas season is over, we might think that we can go back to our "ordinary lives" during Ordinary Time. But Ordinary Time is never "ordinary" in that sense! Ordinary Time in the liturgical year is the time when the Sundays are numbered "in order." This season of Ordinary Time will last about six weeks. Ash Wednesday will follow the Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time.
During Ordinary Time, we celebrate the whole life of Christ, not just one aspect of it. So Ordinary Time is a time of celebration after all! It is a good time to remind ourselves that every Sunday celebrates Easter, the resurrection of Christ. Every day of Ordinary Time invites us to know Christ better and to live his teachings in a deeper way. And there is nothing "ordinary" about that!
In the Old Testament, God's covenant with the people is sometimes compared to a marriage covenant between a husband and wife. In today's first reading, the prophet uses this imagery. With great enthusiasm, he celebrates a great event. The Lord has not only delivered the people from their enemies but has "married" them and made them his own. Their faithfulness has been rewarded. Now they can say to their enemies, "See, we told you! Our God has saved us."
Discussion Questions for Reading 2What gifts of the Spirit do you recognize in yourself? How will you try to use these gifts for the good of all?
Reading 2 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
Reading 2 ReflectionToday's second reading reminds us that the Christian community is filled with gifts of the Spirit. These gifts enable some of us to be teachers or counselors, prophets or preachers, healers or leaders. But they all come from the same Spirit and are intended to build up the faith community. We should never be jealous of someone else's gift because all the gifts truly belong to all of us as the Body of Christ. Do you ever rejoice in the gifts of others?
Discussion Questions for GospelAt this wedding celebration, Jesus gave the wedding couple and guests the gift of choice wine! He also gave them, and us, the gift of a deeper and fuller knowledge of himself, who he really was. "He revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him." What does this say about the importance of celebrations in our lives? Jesus didn't consider a wedding celebration to be "beneath him." He was there, fully present. What is our attitude toward family celebrations—birthdays, weddings, baptisms, or funerals? How can we be more present to these happy or sad times together? How can we use them as occasions to know one another better and to encourage one another?
Gospel John 2:1-11
Gospel ReflectionThe Old Testament reading today celebrates the "marriage" of Israel with the Lord. In the gospel reading, Jesus and his friends are taking part in a wedding celebration at Cana. Everyone is having a grand old time until the wine runs out. Then Jesus, in what is described as the first of his signs (miracles), turns six jars of water into choice wine! Everyone is astonished. But turning the water used for Jewish rituals into wine, Jesus gives God's people a sign that the Messiah has come. Later the disciples would recognize Jesus as the Bridegroom of the Church, the new people of God.
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
We Are the Body of ChristReproduce a picture of Jesus on tagboard. Explain to the children that Saint Teresa of Avila tells us that Jesus Christ has no body on earth but ours. To reinforce this concept, have each child write his or her name on the back of the tagboard picture of Jesus. Place this on the prayer space as a reminder that we are the Body of Christ.
A Scripture ScrollMake a scroll to represent the one Jesus read from in the gospel. Give each child a 6" by 11" piece of drawing paper. Have them illustrate the gospel reading. Attach an empty toilet paper spool to each end of the paper. Roll the spools together and tie with ribbon or yarn.
Proclaiming Faith Activities
Re-enacting a Wedding PartyOur gospel reading describes a wedding party at which Jesus changed water into wine. Imagine how his mother, his disciples, the guests, and the newlyweds must have felt when they tasted the water made wine! Do a dramatic reading after filling in the dialogue below. Use your imagination as necessary.
Matching GiftsConsider the following gifts given by the Spirit:
- ability to communicate well with others
- wisdom about the meaning of life
- a healing touch
- understanding of others' needs
- ability to express one's faith.
Choose one gift and tell why you would like to have it.
For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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