This Week's Liturgy
January 29th, 2012 (see other dates)
Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Discussion Questions for Reading 1How will you be a prophet to those around you?
Reading 1 Deuteronomy 18:15-20
Reading 1 ReflectionIn this reading Moses assures the people that God will raise up from among their descendants "a prophet like Moses." This prophet will speak what God commands. He will be a true spokesman for God.
Like the people of Israel, we too must be concerned about who can teach us the true will of God. We must realize that often there are false prophets around us, advising us badly. We should turn to Christ and the Church for true teaching of what is God's will for us, what is right and wrong, just and unjust.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2What can we do to keep God at the center of our lives?
Reading 2 1 Corinthians 7:32-35
Reading 2 ReflectionThe community in Corinth, was, it seems, always worrying about something. They wrote to Paul with their questions, and Paul tried to teach and reassure them. In this letter he suggests that people look at their lives to see how they can devote themselves to God. Whatever our future state in life as married or unmarried people, we should begin now to give the Lord the most important place in our lives. If we do, everything else will fall into place.
Discussion Questions for GospelWhat are our attitudes toward authority in our lives? Are our attitudes toward Jesus the same as or different from our attitudes toward other authorities? Does Jesus "authorize" our thoughts and actions? How or when?
Gospel Mark 1:21-28
Gospel ReflectionIn this reading Jesus teaches and acts with authority. In this first miracle recorded by Mark, Jesus shows his power over the forces of evil. Even the evil spirit gives witness to Jesus, recognizing him as "the Holy One of God" and submitting to his commands.
We should learn to trust in Jesus and his loving care for us. We should listen each day for his quiet voice in our hearts, urging us to trust him and to do what he asks.
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
Prophets of TodayIn the first reading, Moses tells the people that God speaks to us through other people. We are called to listen to these people. Make a bulletin board of people who teach us about God and His ways. Have children bring in pictures of parents, teachers, and others who share God’s message with them. As a class, take pictures of others in the school who also teach about God, such as principal, pastor, director of religious education, and various community helpers. Place all these pictures on the bulletin board.
Worry FreeIn his letter to the Corinthians, Paul shares with them his desire that they be free of all anxieties so that they can focus on God without distractions. We too have anxieties and worries. Have the children name one thing that they are worried about. Tell them to write or illustrate this on a piece of paper. Gather their anxiety papers together and place them in a basket on the prayer table. As you do this, say the following prayer. "Lord, we give our worries to you. Help us to trust in your care. Amen."
Proclaiming Faith Activities
Dialoging with the LordIn the second reading Saint Paul tells the Corinthians that they should be free of anxieties in order to serve the Lord better. What are some things that make you worried or anxious? Write a dialogue between Jesus and a young person today. Let this person explain to Jesus some of the anxieties or worries young people have today. Then reflect quietly and write the response you think Jesus might give.
Concerns of Young People What Jesus Might Say
Listening to the Teachings of JesusToday's gospel tells us that Jesus taught as one "having authority." How would you follow Jesus' teachings in each of the following situations?
- When Ben's parents got a divorce, he decided never to trust anyone again—especially God. He prayed hard that his mom and dad would work things out. Now Ben was sure that either God doesn't answer our prayers or that God didn't care much about him.
- Angela and Hernando signed up for a Confirmation service project at a soup kitchen every Saturday for one month. After the first Saturday, they decided not to go back. "What a bunch of losers!" Angela complained about the people who came to the kitchen. "I'll be they never even try to get a job," added Hernando. "Why should we wait on them?"
How will you share the message of the gospel with someone this week?
For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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