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This Week's Liturgy

"They were utterly astounded"

June 28th, 2015 (see other dates)

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Discussion Questions for Reading 1

We read that God does not rejoice in the destruction of the living. Think of some ways life is destroyed—in the environment, through addictions, violence, or hopelessness. Turn each situation into a positive one by completing this sentence: "God rejoices when. . ."

Think of a situation in your own life or in your family that could lead to upset, hurt feelings, or anger. Complete the same sentence in regard to your situation. Give God a reason to rejoice by acting positively in this situation at least once each day.

Reading 1 Wisdom 1:13-15, 2:23-24

Reading 1 Reflection

This reading shows God to be the Lord of life, not of death. God made human beings in his own likeness—that is, eternal. But spiritual death occurs when we are separated from God. True justice is the gift of constant closeness to God.

We are called to reflect God's image and justice in our lives. The good we do today will last forever. Being happy and full of life and hope gives God glory and praise.

Discussion Questions for Reading 2

Does the second paragraph in the reflection remind you of yourself? your family? your parish? Why or why not?

Draw up an "Abundance List." List all the material and spiritual gifts you have in abundance. Next to each gift, list one way you, your group, your family, or your parish can share that gift with others who may need it.

Now draw up a "Needs List." List all the ways you or your group may be in need, materially or spiritually. Do you need more joy, more love, more peace, more acceptance, more friendship among you? Who can share these gifts with you? How will you ask for help?

Reading 2 2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15

Reading 2 Reflection

In this reading Saint Paul reminds the Corinthians why they should be generous. He tells them that Jesus made himself poor so that they could become rich in gifts like faith, understanding, and love and concern for others. For this reason they should help others in need and perhaps one day receive charity from others in return.

Christians, followers of Christ, care for one another. We do not just seek our own physical or spiritual well-being and forget others. We take joy in sharing with others from our abundance and can look to others likewise to help us if we are in need.

Discussion Questions for Gospel

Share the imagined feelings of the father, the girl, and the crowd. You may want to volunteer to read aloud and enact the story of Jairus and his daughter.

Have you ever felt "stuck"? Have you ever felt, "I don't know how I'm going to do this, or get through this"? Think of a situation like that in your life or in the life of someone you know. Pray quietly for a moment. Like Jairus, you might like to pray, "Jesus, please come." You might like to say this several times. Then imagine Jesus saying your name or the name of the person you are praying for. He says, "__________, I say to you, arise!" Jesus is with you and those you love in every situation. He will give you what you need, whether that is more patience, or kindness, or truth, or even a new way to go about things. When you ask Jesus to come, he comes! And when he comes, he brings new life.

Gospel Mark 5:21-24, 35-43

Gospel Reflection

Imagine the grief of the father of the little girl who is dying. The story is told almost like a play. First, Jairus, the girl's father, comes to Jesus for help; but before he can reach her, people come to say that she has died. Then Jesus goes to the house of Jairus. Jesus takes the girl's hand and says, "Little girl, I say to you, arise!" Immediately she stands up and begins to walk around. Imagine the party in Jairus' home that night! Like the crowd in this scene, we may be inclined not to accept the word of Jesus at times. We may think we know better. But Jesus will still remind us of the need to trust him and to have no fear.

Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades

Sharing Our Abundance

In the second reading, Paul encourages the Corinthians to share their abundance with those who are in need. We too can do our part to share with our abundance with those who are in need.

Provide a large jar or coffee can. Encourage each child to draw a symbol of himself on a small piece of paper and cut it out. Have each child glue this symbol on the jar or can. Then invite the children to bring in spare change throughout the week and place it in the jar or can. When the week is over, bring this money to a charity of your choice.

Healing Words

In Mark’s Gospel, we read of two instances where Jesus heals others.

Today we can help to heal those with broken hearts and spirits by kind and compassionate words.

Provide a box of adhesive bandage strips, such as Band-aids. On each bandage strip, write an expression of kindness, such as "I'm sorry," "It's O.K." "How can I help?" etc. Place these back in the box and put the box on the prayer table. Each day, pull one bandage out of the box and read what it says to the children. Encourage the children to use these words of healing for the entire day.

Proclaiming Faith Activities

Talent Telegram (or Energy E-mail)

Find out what your parish is doing right now to help others by sharing talents and gifts. What will you and your family do to join with the parish? Write it in the telegram (or e-mail) here.

Telegram (or e-mail)

TO: Our Parish ___________________________________

FROM: The ___________________________________ Family

Our family will help by:

A Gospel Meditation

This prayer may be done in a group or individually at home. Ask the group to listen quietly, perhaps with eyes closed, as the meditation is read.

Find a quiet place. Breathe in and out quietly so that your body can calm down and relax. Listen as I read:

All of us have "dead spots" in our lives—things, or attitudes, or habits—that keep us from living fully. What is your "dead spot"?
  • Is it a bad habit you wish you could break?
  • Is it a physical infirmity?
  • Is it a personal infirmity, like fear, or self-doubt, or lack of confidence?
  • Is it a personal relationship with a family member or friend that needs healing?
Now imagine Jesus leaning over you, touching that "dead spot" in your life. Hear him say, "Little one, arise!" Feel his strength and energy coming into your life. Get up from whatever it is that holds you back. Jesus says to you, "Don't be afraid; just have faith."

Write what you think Jesus' message is for you today.

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