This Week's Liturgy
March 11th, 2012 (see other dates)
Third Sunday of Lent
Discussion Questions for Reading 1Select one of the first three commandments. How would the world be different if everyone lived by this commandment? Now select one of the last seven commandments. If everyone were faithful to this commandment, what difference would it make in our society? Which of God's laws do you think the world is most in need of right now? Why?
What does this reading have to say about why the sabbath day is holy? How do you and your family keep Sundays holy?
Reading 1 Exodus 20:1-3,7-8,12-17
Reading 1 ReflectionIf you have ever wondered where the Ten Commandments appear in the Bible, here is the answer in today's first reading from Exodus. These are the commandments as God delivered them to Moses on Mount Sinai. Recall that the first three commandments guide us in our relationship with God and our duties towards him. The remaining commandments guide our relationships with others and our responsibilities towards them.
During Lent we review God's moral law and decide once again to be faithful to it.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2Why do you think the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was and is a stumbling block for some people? Would it be easier to believe in a Son of God who conquered the world by military might? Why or why not? What examples can you give illustrating the difference between the wisdom of God and the wisdom of the world?
Is there anything in Jesus himself or in his teachings that is a stumbling block or an obstacle to you at this point in your life? Explain.
Reading 2 1 Corinthians 1:22-25
Reading 2 ReflectionIn Jesus' time, the Greeks were the intellectual and artistic leaders of the world. They took great pride in their wisdom. But they lacked faith. Paul's letter informs his readers that for Jews and Greeks alike, Christ crucified is a "stumbling block" to their worldly wisdom. They could not imagine believing in a God who would lay down his life out of love for his people. Their pride would not allow them to think of such a thing.
But to those of us who have the gift of faith, the risen Christ is the source of all power and wisdom which is beyond this world's knowledge.
Discussion Questions for GospelDoes the fiery anger of Jesus surprise you? Why or why not? Are there times when it is right to express justified anger? Explain. How do you think believers should show love and respect for God's house?
Although many people crowded around Jesus because of the signs he performed, he did not trust himself to them. What do you think those words mean? What did Jesus understand about the human heart? How will you practice having a faithful heart as Lent continues?
Gospel John 2:13-25
Gospel ReflectionWatch out for Jesus in today's gospel! He has come up to the temple at Passover time and he is very angry about what he sees there. So he brandishes a whip to drive the money-changers and sacrificial animals out of the temple. "Stop turning my Father's house into a marketplace!" he says with frightening authority. His disciples attribute his emotional outburst to zeal or intense passion for the house of God.
When the Jews ask him for a sign of his authority, Jesus speaks of the temple of his body. He prophesies that if they destroy this temple, he will raise it up in three days. They do not understand that he is speaking of his crucifixion and resurrection.
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
The Ten CommandmentsIn the reading from Exodus, God gives the ten commandments to Moses.
Have the children place their hands side by side, fingers tightly together, with thumbs touching on a sheet of paper. Trace around both their hands to make tablets. Ahead of time, have the ten commandments typed or written out. Provide a copy of first three commandments for each child. Have them cut these commandments out and glue them on the “tablet” on the left.
Then provide each child with a copy of the remaining seven commandments. Have them cut these out and glue them on the “tablet” on the right.
Signs of FaithIn the gospel, we hear that many people come to believe in Jesus because of the signs he was doing.
Brainstorm with the children some of the signs that Jesus did. Some examples include the healing of the leper, the healing of the blind and the lame, the feeding of the five thousand, the calming of the sea, etc.
Give each child a piece of paper and have them illustrate their favorite. Bind these together into a book, entitled Signs of Faith.
Proclaiming Faith Activities
Making God's Commands KnownDecide how your group or family will make the world a better place by publicizing the Ten Commandments.
Consider the following list and add your own suggestions.
- Design catchy bumper stickers for each of the Ten Commandments. Example: "One God. That's all we need."
- Audiotape a public service radio announcement summarizing the Commandments in everyday language. Example: Respect your parents and you will be rewarded.
- Make a series of posters with comic sketches of the consequences of not living each of the Ten Commandments. Example: a shoplifter gets caught by a burly security officer with a huge set of handcuffs
Composing a Prayer or SongCompose a prayer or a song expressing either your understanding of Jesus' feelings about the moneychangers and the fickle crowds, or your feelings about the story.
Express in your work your own insights into human nature and how difficult it often is for people to choose to do the right thing.
For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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