This Week's Liturgy
February 21st, 2016 (see other dates)
Second Sunday of Lent
Discussion Questions for Reading 1Faith and trust go together. We believe that our God is a God of love. We can trust God with our lives. Faith means complete trust in God. What does this mean to you?
Pray today: Lord, when you call us to journey into new territories, may we, like Abram, put our faith and trust in you.
What new territories is God asking you to explore?
In every way, each new day is "new territory." How will you trust God today?
Reading 1 Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18
Reading 1 ReflectionMany of us have had the difficult experience of having to pack up and move on, leaving our homes and friends behind. We can imagine how Abram, later known as Abraham, might have felt when God called him to journey to a new and unfamiliar land. Despite his doubts and questions, Abram "put his faith in the Lord." He gave up everything, including his pagan gods, and accepted God's promise of countless descendants.
The covenant between God and Abraham was sealed in a special ceremony of sacrifice. The smoke and flame in that ceremony represent the presence of God moving between the broken animal halves. This is a sign that neither Abram, who stays with the sacrificial animals, nor God, whose presence is signaled, will break the covenant.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2A citizen is not a visitor, a tourist, or a guest. A citizen is someone who belongs to a particular country. Sometimes citizens of a country go to other countries to live or work. Sometimes they become citizens of their new country. Sometimes they remain citizens of their original country. Their citizenship means too much to them to change. What does being a citizen of heaven mean to you?
What are your responsibilities and privileges as a citizen of this country?
What are your responsibilities and privileges as a citizen of heaven?
Reading 2 Philippians 3:17--4:1 or 3:20--4:1
Reading 2 ReflectionToday's second reading reminds us that as Christians sharing in God's life we are already citizens of heaven. Neither our earthly homes nor our physical bodies are lasting. But one day our bodies will be transformed and become like the glorified body of the risen Jesus. This is the great and final hope of every Christian.
Discussion Questions for GospelThe disciples are awed when the voice of God confirms Jesus' identity: "This is my Son, my Chosen One." How will you honor Jesus as the Chosen One of God during Lent?
Three traditional ways are: daily prayer, fasting, and sharing with the poor (almsgiving). How can you include these three Lenten practices into your daily life?
Gospel Luke 9:28b-36
Gospel ReflectionWouldn't it be wonderful to see your best friend transformed, or turned into his or her glorified self, right before your eyes? That's the kind of experience Peter, James, and John have in today's gospel. While they are up on a mountain with Jesus, they have a splendid vision of him in his glorified body. They see him talking with Moses and Elijah, two long-dead figures from the Old Testament. Moses represents the Law, while Elijah represents the prophets. In Jesus, both find the fulfillment of God's plan of salvation.
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
Our Covenant with GodA covenant is an agreement between two people. A special covenant was made between God and Abraham. Have children make a covenant with God. Reproduce the following covenant on a piece of paper for each child. Have the child write his/her name at the bottom of the page symbolizing his/her agreement to this covenant. Then have children decorate a border around the covenant using stickers, markers, crayons, and other art materials.
God, I will use my eyes to see you in everyone I meet.
I will use my mouth to say kind things to others.
I will use my hands to help others.
I will use my mind to think only good thoughts.
I will use my heart to share your love.
Dazzling Like the SunIn the gospel reading, while Jesus prays, his face changes in appearance and his clothing dazzles like the sun. Make dazzling suns for the classroom window. Reproduce a picture of the sun on white construction paper for each child. Have the children paint the sun yellow. While the paint is still wet, sprinkle glitter to make the sun dazzle. When dry, display these in the window.
Proclaiming Faith Activities
Getting Ready for GloryToday's readings speak of the "glory days", both for Jesus and for us. Jesus was praying with his friends when he suddenly appeared in all his heavenly glory, dazzling like the sun. A spiritual writer once said that all of us are "walking around shining like the sun" even though we do not know it. Lent is the perfect time to get ready for our own final glory days in heaven. Complete these statements on ways you will prepare:
- I will give more time to prayer by
(suggestion: setting aside a special time each day)
- I will become more familiar with the Scriptures by
(suggestion: listening more closely to the readings at Mass)
- I will show that I value myself as a "citizen of heaven" by
(suggestion: living as Jesus asks me to live)
- I will make a greater effort to listen to Jesus by
(being more aware of his presence in other people, events, etc.)
Designing a T-ShirtChoose one major problem in the world today that darkens people's hopes for the future. It might be: war, pollution, crime and violence, drugs, abortion, the breaking up of families. Then reflect on the fact that Jesus is the Light of the World and that, as his follower, you can be a light shining in the darkness.
Design a T-shirt that shows one way you will be a light in the darkness to someone who is suffering from the problem you have chosen. Encourage others to care, too!
Here is one suggestion: A candle with faces gathered around it, with a slogan such as "Be a light in the darkness. Make time for family."
For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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