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This Week's Liturgy


January 31st, 2016 (see other dates)

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Discussion Questions for Reading 1

It is a wonderful thing to be a follower of Jesus, to be a member of a community of faith. We have parents, teachers, and friends to support us. But that does not mean that everything in our lives is easy. We often have hard choices to make. Can you give examples of some of these?

At times of hard choices, think of the prophet Jeremiah and the Lord's words to him, "I am with you to deliver you."

Deliver may be a new word for some of us. We usually think of a package being delivered! A package is brought from one place to another. It can do nothing to deliver itself! When we can do nothing to help ourselves, God brings us from a spiritual place of fear or evil to another spiritual place?a place of strength and hope. This is how God delivers us! God is always with us! When have you experienced being delivered by God?

Reading 1 Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19

Reading 1 Reflection

Jeremiah was an insecure young man when the Lord appointed him as a prophet to Israel. In this reading, the Lord assures Jeremiah that he has always known him and loved him, even before he was born. In effect, the Lord says to Jeremiah, "You can do this. I will be with you all the way. I will make you strong."

Discussion Questions for Reading 2

Saint John of the Cross once wrote, "In the end we shall be judged on love." Go through a typical day in your life in your mind. What opportunities for love do you find? Name as many as you can. For example, "I could wish a good morning to the bus driver," or, "I could let another driver in as we merge," or, "I could wait for my little sister to finish what she is trying to say."

Reading 2 1 Corinthians 12:31--13:13 or 13:4-13

Reading 2 Reflection

This is one of the most famous passages from the New Testament. It is read at weddings and also at funerals. It is written on plaques and wall hangings. It is even embroidered on pillows!

Why do you think so many people appreciate this passage on love? Read the passage quietly to yourself or listen to it as it is read slowly one more time. When you read or hear a verse or a line that means something to you, write it down. Then gather with your group and compare your choices. Try to explain why you wrote down the passage that you did.

Discussion Questions for Gospel

Have you ever felt like "giving up"? How can you remember to be like Jeremiah and Jesus? What do you know that will help you not to give up?

Gospel Luke 4:21-30

Gospel Reflection

In the first reading, we read that the Lord chose Jeremiah to be his prophet. However, the people did not listen to Jeremiah. However, Jeremiah never gave up, because he knew the Lord was with him.

In this reading from the Gospel, the people do not listen to Jesus. They did not really believe he was the Messiah, because they had known him all their lives. To them, Jesus was "Joseph's son" and nothing more. But Jesus never gave up, either. Jesus knew that his Father was with him always.

Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades

A Fine Catch

Jeremiah tells us that when we trust and hope in the Lord, we will be like a tree that grows near a stream, bearing fruit even when there is no rain. Reinforce this concept with an art activity. Give each child a picture of a tree. Have the children fill in the stream by gluing torn pieces of tissue or construction paper in a mosaic style. Then have the children color the tree. Add fruits or flowers to the tree using stickers.

Rolling Responses

Sing the following song with the children to the tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb".

Jesus tells the poor they're blest;
The poor they're blest; the poor they're blest.
Jesus tells the poor they're blest;
We must share with them.

Those who have no food are blest;
No food are blest; no food are blest.
Those who have no food are blest;
We must share with them.

Jesus tells the sad they're blest;
The sad they're blest; the sad they're blest.
Jesus tells the sad they're blest;
We must care for them.

Blest are they who live their faith;
Live their faith; live their faith.
Blest are they who live their faith;
Each and every day.

Proclaiming Faith Activities

A Note from the Heart

The heart is a symbol of love. We often use this symbol on Valentine's Day, but every day of the year is a day for love, in word and in action. Cut out a heart from red construction paper. Or use white paper and color it red with crayon or marker.

Think of someone who has shown love to you. On the heart, write one short sentence from Saint Paul's letter on love that describes this person.

On the back of the heart, write a short note to that person, thanking them for their love. For example, on the front you might write, "Love is kind." On the back, you might write, "Thank you for being so kind to me." Think of a way to deliver your "note from the heart" to this special person.

Hometown Heroes and Heroines

In today's gospel, Jesus was among his neighbors, people who worshipped with every week. They rejected him because they did not believe him or know who he really was.

Through newspapers, television, radio, and the internet, we often have the opportunity to know people from all over the world. Often, however, we don't know the people next door very well!

With your parents' permission, ask a neighbor for a few moments of his or her time. Your mom or dad may want to come along! Explain that you are doing a project that will help you know your neighbors better. Ask these three questions:

  • What is the most exciting thing you have ever done in your life?
  • What has been the most meaningful or important thing you have ever done in your life?
  • What invention in your lifetime has most changed your life or made it easier in some way?
  • Share your results with your group. Ask one another these questions. You may enjoy doing this so much that you will want to interview more people!

    Jesus taught us to love our neighbors. Do you think it is easier if we know them a little better?

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