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This Week's Liturgy


July 31st, 2016 (see other dates)

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Discussion Questions for Reading 1

This is a list of what Joe plans to do this week:

  • get his parents to buy him a new jacket even though his old one still fits
  • study for Thursday's history test
  • avoid a friend at school because other kids avoid that person
  • practice basketball with his friends after supper Friday
  • save part of his allowance to get his Mom some perfume for her birthday
  • go to altar server practice on Saturday morning.
What is the most "vain" thing on the list? Why? Discuss his other concerns. Tell when
and why Joe is on the right track and when he is not.

Make a list of your concerns. Are any of them "vain"? How are you on the right track in your priorities? When are you overly concerned with vain things?

Reading 1 Ecclesiates 1:2; 2:21-23

Reading 1 Reflection

Today's readings fit together like three panels of a colorful mural called "Set Your Heart on the Kingdom." This first reading insists that "All things are vanity!" For the author, vanity meant "emptiness" or "straw." He is telling us that it is useless to set out hearts on things that must be left behind when we die.

Discussion Questions for Reading 2

This reading reminds us to be like Christ. A popular way of saying this in our own day is to use the initials WWJD?"What would Jesus do?"

Try to answer that question in the following situations. Then say what YOU would do to be like Jesus. A new student comes to your class at school. He or she is very shy and is afraid to make friends. You said hello once. Is that enough? What would Jesus do? What would you do?

Your group is saving money for Catholic Relief Services. You each made a box to save coins. Together you will help people without homes. Your box is on your desk at home.

You have chores to do after school each day. The list is on the refrigerator. You always need to be reminded to do yours.

Some of your friends like to make fun of other kids or people they see on the street. You are tempted to join in.

Make up one or more situations like these. Have others say what Jesus would do and what they would do to be like Jesus.

Reading 2 Colossians 3:1-5, 9-11

Reading 2 Reflection

In this reading we are reminded that the life of a Christian should reflect the values of Jesus. "Seek what is above," we are told. Put aside lies and idols and evil desires. Be formed in the image of God. Live as though you truly believe in the kingdom, or reign, of God that Jesus proclaimed.

Discussion Questions for Gospel

How important is making money? Jesus knows that we all need enough to live on. Each person's need will be a little bit different. Each family's needs will be a little bit different. But Jesus warns here against piling up money and ignoring what really makes us rich?love of God and love of others.

In our society, we must all spend some time making money. How much time? How much of our thought and energy goes into this? How do we keep ourselves from spending too much time and energy on making money? Does our need to make money take too much time away from family and friends?

Of course, we do not work just for money. Every job is an opportunity to love God and others. How do you love God and others in your work? If your work is being a student, how do you love God and others while you are at school?

Gospel Luke 12:13-21

Gospel Reflection

As so often happens, Jesus tells a parable because someone has asked him a question. A man wants him to settle a squabble about an inheritance, but Jesus will have no part of it.

Concern about money prevents people from focusing on the reign of God. The parable of the rich farmer shows how foolish it is to keep piling up possessions. Right when the greedy man is gorging himself on food and drink, he dies. Death prevents any chance of reform.

Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades

A Child of God

In the second reading, Paul tells the Colossians to be like Christ in everything we do. We are to put on a new self, acting as Jesus would. Take a large t-shirt or old shirt and write the name "Jesus" on it. Have the children sit in a circle on the floor. Then select one child to come up and put the shirt on. Give a situation and then ask that child what he would do to be like Jesus in this situation. Some examples of situations include:

  • You see another child fall on the playground.
  • The person next to you can't find her red crayon.
  • Mom or Dad is preparing dinner.
  • Your brother or sister wants to watch a different television show than the one you are watching.

Treasure that Matters to God

In the gospel, Jesus tells us that there are more important treasures than being wealthy and having many material possessions.

Discuss with the children what some of the treasures they possess that are not material (for example, love, faith, trust in God, creativity, kindness, helpfulness, gentleness, etc.).

Draw an open treasure chest on a piece of poster board and cut out. Attach to a bulletin board. Give each child a coin cut from tag board. Have children draw or write about one treasure that they have that is not materialistic. Provide glitter and/or sequins for the children to decorate their coins. Attach these to the bulletin board.

Proclaiming Faith Activities

Performing a Parable

To teach his followers to avoid greed of every kind, Jesus tells the parable of the rich farmer. He wants us to listen, laugh at the farmer's foolishness, and remember the lesson. With a partner, plan a clowning version of this parable. Choose the type of person you want to talk about. Perform it for the enjoyment of your group, for young children, or for a local senior center.

Title: The Rich ____________________________________






When and where could you do your clowning parable?

Media Messages

Are there any messages from the media that agree with today's readings? Does God's word sometimes echo in our TV and radio programs, in movies and music and books? Give as many examples as you can for each of these messages.

  • It is useless to work hard just for money or possessions. What programs, movies, or books highlight people willing to help others without expecting a reward?
  • We should avoid greed in all its forms. Greed does not apply to money alone. People can be greedy for power, fame, or social prestige. Think of some programs or books that show or describe the lives of people greedy for power or fame. What happens to their lives?
  • Lying, lust, or making idols of persons or things do not lead to happiness and may lead to personal disaster. What programs or movies show how lives can be ruined by these destructive practices?
Choose a famous person living today. Write them a friendly letter. Ask them how they avoid the temptations brought into their lives by money, greed, and power. Ask them how they help others with the gifts they have been given. Share your letter with your group. How would answer such a letter if you were a famous person? What would you do
to avoid these temptations?

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