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This Week's Liturgy

My Neighbor

July 10th, 2016 (see other dates)

Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Discussion Questions for Reading 1

The law Moses was asking the people to keep is summarized in the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments helped everyone in the community to live in safety and in security. They are an expression of God's will from that time and even today. As a group, see if you can remember all Ten Commandments. Each one is very important, but which ones in particular do you think our society most needs to remember today?

When Jesus gave his Sermon on the Mount, he gave us the eight Beatitudes. He did not erase the Ten Commandments. He added to them with these beatitudes?the attitudes of mercy, peace, and justice toward everyone, especially toward those in need. Find the Beatitudes listed in Matthew 5:3-12. Which one comes easiest to you? Which one is harder for you to put into practice? How does your family and parish put the Beatitudes into practice?

The Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes help explain God's will to us. Look into your heart. What do you think God is asking of you today?

Reading 1 Deuteronomy 30:10-14

Reading 1 Reflection

This reading shows a wonderful understanding of human nature. The author knows how easy it is to say, "I would do God's will if only I knew what it was!" We hear Moses telling the people, "Don't look up in the sky or out to sea for God's will. Look in your own heart." The people are about to enter the Promised Land. They will enjoy all the good things God has in store for them if only they listen to the word of God and follow God's law.

Discussion Questions for Reading 2

You might want to make an interactive prayer from this reading. Choose a leader to read it, one sentence at a time. You may want to cut the longer sentences into phrases. After each sentence or phrase, the entire group says or sings, "Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ, king of endless glory!" (Make up a melody if you like.)

As part of God's creation and as members of the Church, we belong to Jesus Christ. How do you feel about belonging to Christ? Use the "Praise to you" prayer and pray it silently often during the day.

Reading 2 Colossians 1:15-20

Reading 2 Reflection

This reading is part of a great hymn of praise to Jesus Christ as the Lord of all creation. He is the One who keeps everything in existence. He is the head of the Church, which continues his ministry on earth. Through his sacrifice on the cross, Jesus unites everyone with God. He is the source of our peace.

Discussion Questions for Gospel

What is Jesus' message in this parable? If you truly understand Jesus' message, how could you carry it out in your own school, neighborhood, or parish?

Gospel Luke 10:25-37

Gospel Reflection

Jesus was a great storyteller. We can imagine how fascinating his voice and manner must have been when he told the parable of the Good Samaritan to the lawyer who wanted to be saved. And how surprised the lawyer must have been when he heard the answer to the question "Who is my neighbor?" My neighbor is not just the person next door or a member of my parish or my racial group. My neighbor is anyone in need?even if he or she seems to be an enemy. Jesus' parable reveals the true meaning of love of neighbor. It is going out of our way to do everything for someone that we would want done for us.

Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades

God Is In Our Hearts

In the first reading, Moses tells the people not to look for God in the sky or in the sea. He tells them that God is in their hearts.

Cut a heart shape from colored paper and write "God" on one side. Hide this heart somewhere in the classroom. Tell the children we will search for God. Take the children around the school looking for God. End in the classroom and help the children find the heart you have hidden. Then explain to the children that God is in each of our hearts.

The Man Who Helped His Neighbor

Read the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–37). Explain to the children that Jesus told this story about a man who helped his neighbor. Assign parts for the Samaritan, the priest, the Levite, and the hurt man. Read the story having the children act it out as you read it. At the end, ask: “What would you have done if you had seen the man hurt on the road?”

Discuss with the children that some people need our help today. Ask: Who are some people who need our help? (our neighbors, our friends, our relatives, the poor, the sick, the lonely, etc.) Discuss ways to help people who need it. Then pray together for all people who need help. Pray that we will always be willing to help those who are hurt and in need.

Proclaiming Faith Activities

Who Is Your Neighbor?

There are victims and "Good Samaritans" in our world today. Can you name some of them?

Write a modern version or play of the Good Samaritan parable. Fill in the chart below. Then act out the story, using your own words or words from the gospel reading. Keep in mind that the man who was robbed and the man who helped him were from two very different groups, and they considered one another to be an enemy. Practice acting out the play. Then "take it on the road" to another group in your school or parish.

The Characters
Jesus ___________

the person who questions Jesus _________________

the man who was robbed ______________________

the 3 people who passed by _________________, _______________, _______________

the Good Samaritan ________________________

the crowd who listened to the story and answered Jesus' question at the end (group)

Prayer: Jesus, teach me to recognize every person in need as my neighbor.

In Your Heart

Draw a large heart on a piece of paper.
Take time to be silent and listen to God's voice speaking in your heart.

What is God saying to you? Write it in the heart.

Think about what you have written in the heart and make it part of your prayer this week.

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