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This Week's Liturgy

Trusting God

August 15th, 2010 (see other dates)

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Solemnity and Holy Day of Obligation)

Discussion Questions for Reading 1

In this reading, the "special place" given to the woman is in the desert. This may not sound so special! However, in the history of the Israelites, the desert was the place of safety where they fled slavery. It was the place where they met God. In that sense, "the desert" is a symbol of heaven, where we are safe in God's presence forever. The desert is also a place of prayer. Can you follow Mary into the desert, a place of quiet prayer, today? How could you arrange to spend ten or fifteen minutes in quiet prayer, safe in God's presence? It might be at home, on a bus, or during a lunch hour. Could you make it a practice every day? You may find that you will taste a little bit of heaven on earth! Ask Mary to lead you to Jesus, to the special place God has prepared for you, here, now, and forever!

Reading 1 Revelations 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab

Reading 1 Reflection

In this vision from the Book of Revelation, we are presented with a woman dressed like a queen with a crown of twelve stars. The stars represent the twelve tribes of Israel, the nation that gave birth to the Messiah. A wild red dragon (evil) tries to destroy the woman's newborn son (the Messiah). But God dramatically saves the child by "snatching him up" to heaven. Today the Church honors Mary, the mother of the Messiah. She was assumed, or taken up bodily, into heaven at her death. Truly God has taken her into "the special place" he had prepared for her from all eternity. Her rising is a "preview" of our own rising, body and soul, into eternal happiness with Jesus.

Discussion Questions for Reading 2

Most of us like to do nice things for our mothers when we can. Jesus Christ did an especially "nice thing" when he brought his mother Mary to be with him in heaven. In this reading we learn that we are next, because we belong to Christ, too. We are his brothers and sisters. He wants all of us to be with him forever.

A good way to honor Mary, and to remember this wonderful "nice thing" that her Son, Jesus Christ, did for her, is to do something nice for your own mother. It may not be something big, but your mother will like it because it comes from you. Share your ideas now. Think of something that will surprise your mother. Do something nice for your mother in honor of Jesus and Mary!

Reading 2 1 Corinthians 15:20-27

Reading 2 Reflection

Christ is risen! He was the first to experience the joy of resurrection. But he is not the last. All of us will also rise from the dead. At the second coming, Jesus will "hand over the kingdom to God" and we will share in his final victory.

Mary did not have to wait for the end of time to rise from the dead. Now she waits to welcome each of us to our eternal home.

Discussion Questions for Gospel

Elizabeth said to Mary, "Blessed are you who believed." Both Elizabeth and Mary were about to become mothers. Mothers have to believe in and trust God a lot. So do fathers! Parents must help children to learn trust by helping and teaching them each day. Children, too, have to learn to trust God. It is easy to trust God when everything goes smoothly. It is harder to trust in times of trouble or hardship or change.

Picture your life as it is right now. Where do you need to trust God more? In school? Choosing good friends? In money matters? In making choices between right and wrong?

Then picture Mary and Elizabeth calling your name and saying, "_______________, blessed are you who believe in God?s word. Put your trust in God."

Trusting God does not mean sitting back and doing nothing. Mary went on a long hard trip, probably walking all the way, to help Elizabeth. Trust means we trust God to lead us to the next right step to take. It means trusting God will help us take it!

Gospel Luke 1:39-56

Gospel Reflection

Wouldn't it be frustrating to have good news, yet no one to share it with? In the telling, good news gets even better, because a friend is responding to it. Luke tells us the beautiful story of Mary sharing with Elizabeth the news of her pregnancy. Elizabeth immediately recognizes that Mary is "the mother of my Lord" and she praises Mary's complete faith in God's word. Bursting with joy, Mary sings her victory song, the Magnificat: "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord."

Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades

Mary, our Mother

Teach the children the following song, to the tune of London Bridges:

Mary, you said yes to God,

Yes to God, yes to God,

Mary, you said yes to God

To be Jesus' mother.

You are our mother, too,

Our mother, too, our mother, too.

You are our mother, too,

A guide in all we do.

You're now in heaven with Jesus, your son,

Jesus, your son, Jesus, your son.

You're now in heaven with Jesus, your son,

Our praise we sing to you.

A Baby Shower

In the gospel, Mary travels to visit her cousin Elizabeth to share with her the good news that she is going to have a baby. Elizabeth is also going to have a baby.

Having a baby is a very special time, but new mothers need many things to help care for the baby. Have a "baby shower" in the classroom. Encourage the children to bring in items that new mothers need to care for their child, such as diapers, bottles, clothing, toys, etc. Collect these items in a large box. Attach a card made by the class congratulating the new parents. Bring this box to a women's shelter, a hospital, or other place where new moms are in need.

Proclaiming Faith Activities

Living Mary's Song

Look again at Mary's song in the gospel reading ("My soul proclaims. . ."). She rejoices in God's mercy on the lowly and God's correction of those who abuse their wealth and power. Brainstorm ways your group might live Mary's song by responding to the questions below. Write your responses on a separate piece of paper. Decorate the paper with music notes.

1. How might you show God's mercy to the sick, the homeless, or the imprisoned?

2. How might you feed the hungry or show respect for the dignity of the poor?

3. How might you help someone or some group to act more justly?You might like to close with a hymn to Mary, or a song expressing the themes of mercy, justice, and peace.

Writing Keeps It Real

We have so many thoughts and feelings during even one single day that we cannot always pay attention to them. Writing is one way to pay attention, to see what is really going on in our lives. Writing can be a way of praying, if we let God in on our thoughts and feelings!

Complete the following sentences. Use as many words or sentences as you like. You may wish to share your thoughts with a friend, who will then share thoughts with you. Sharing our experiences in faith is a way to encourage and strengthen one another.

One of the ways I have felt God's presence is . . .

If I feel guilty or badly about something I've done, I . . .

I feel most like praying when . . .

I know God loves me because . . .

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