This Week's Liturgy
Yes and No
February 16th, 2014 (see other dates)
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Discussion Questions for Reading 1
How do you go about making choices? Who has been an example to you of good decision-making? How is God present in your difficult decisions?
Reading 1 Sirach 15: 15-20
Reading 1 Reflection
The reading from Sirach reminds us of our God-given human freedom. We have the power to choose--to say "yes" to the commandments of God, or to say "no." Before us "are life and death, good and evil" and our choice determines what we shall experience. God's commands are life-giving and produce good; those who choose to keep them understand that the commands are meant to lead us to true happiness.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2
What is an example of the "wisdom of this age"? What is a contemporary example of God's wisdom? How do you seek true wisdom in your life?
Reading 2 1 Corinthians 2: 6-10
Reading 2 Reflection
Paul's letter to the community in Corinth begins with the distinction between God's wisdom and the "wisdom of this age." Every age, it seems, has its own "wisdom" which does not align with Gospel values. In Paul's time there were issues certainly, which he tried to address through his letters. And today there are issues in which there seems to be a "popular wisdom" at odds with the Gospel. Have you ever heard someone justify wrong doing by saying, "Everybody’s doing it"? Have you listened to the "wisdom" of commercials which aim to convince people they will be happier if only they purchase a certain product? Sometimes real wisdom is glaringly clear; other times we have to search out what true wisdom is in a given situation. And always, the Spirit of wisdom is there to guide us.
Discussion Questions for Gospel
Which of Jesus' teachings in today's Gospel do you find most difficult? It is a great compliment to be called "a person of his/her word." Who would you name as such a person? What "yes" that God asks is most challenging for you? What "no" that God asks is easiest for you?
Today's Gospel from Matthew is one of the most intense accounts of the way Jesus changed things. "You have heard it said" he begins each part of his teaching and then goes on to say, "But I say to you." He does what he said he would do--not abolishing the laws of God--but fulfilling them. He never says, "You have heard it said ‘You shall not kill’ but I say it's okay." On the contrary, Jesus’ teaching requires more--don’t be angry or name-call. In fact, Jesus says, if you are going to offer your gift at the altar and remember that your brother has anything against you, leave the gift and go be reconciled. We are called to keep the commandments, of course, but we are called to more.
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
Saying Yes to God
The Commandments, the Beatitudes, and all of Jesus' teaching tell us what we should say "yes" to as disciples of Jesus.
Think about some of the yeses that the Commandment call us to:
Keep God first.
Keep God's name holy.
Keep the Lord's Day holy.
Respect and obey parents and those in authority.
Respect and care for all life.
Honor married people’s commitment.
Respect others’ property.
Tell the truth.
Be happy for your neighbor’s good relationships.
Be happy for your neighbor’s good fortune.
Make a list of the ways that you have said yes to God in the past month. Share your list with your family or a friend. Then write one way you will say yes to God in the coming week. Share that too and ask the person you share it with to pray that you will do it.
Proclaiming Faith Activities
Mary's Yes to God
Mary is the first disciple of Jesus and the first saint we turn to as our model of saying yes to God.
Read the story of the Annunciation in Luke Chapter 1, verses 26-38. What strikes you about Mary's yes?
Pray a decade of the Rosary, reflecting on the Mystery of the Annunciation.
Write a prayer asking Mary to help you to say yes to what God asks of you.
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