This Week's Liturgy
Leap for Joy
February 14th, 2010 (see other dates)
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Discussion Questions for Reading 1Have you ever put your trust in a human being and been disappointed? This happens because human beings are weak and "only human." We often fail to do the right thing for ourselves or for others. This is why trust in the Lord is so important. How or when do you place your trust in the Lord? Trust does not mean that we do nothing. We trust that the Lord will lead us in the path right for us. Think of a dilemma or problem you are having. Then pray quietly: "Lord, I trust you. Show me the next right step to take."
The early fathers of the Church read the Scriptures, thought about them, and wrote many commentaries on them. Whenever the Scriptures spoke of water, the early fathers thought, "Baptism!" Why do you think the stream of water in this passage from Jeremiah would remind us of Baptism? How is each Christian like the tree with its roots in the stream? How are you bearing fruit?
The stream of water could also remind us of prayer. When we pray, our roots are in the stream of life and love flowing from God. When are your roots in the stream?
Reading 1 Jeremiah 17:5-8
Reading 1 ReflectionWe can tell from Jeremiah's opening complaint today that the leaders of Judah had become corrupt. The people had again wandered away from God. Jeremiah warns that it is useless to place our trust in anyone "whose heart turns away from the Lord." If we do so, we are "cursed." But if we place our trust and hope in the Lord, we will be like trees growing near a stream. Because their roots are watered by the stream, they bear fruit even in time of drought. That is the blessing Jeremiah prays all of us will experience.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2Let us remember for a moment those loved ones in our own families who have died. The funeral liturgy tells us that they are even now living with God, that for them, "Life is not ended, but changed." Do you believe that one day we will all be raised from the dead, as Christ was? This is what Saint Paul is telling us. Christ was the first, and all of us will follow him. Why do you think it was hard for the Corinthians to believe this? Is it hard for you to believe? Why or why not?
Offer this prayer to increase your faith: Jesus, I do believe in your resurrection. Help me to believe more deeply. Amen.
Reading 2 1 Corinthians 15:12, 16-20
Reading 2 ReflectionPaul, too, has a complaint today. He is upset with those Christians of Corinth who no longer believe in the resurrection of the dead. He lets them know that they are way off base. If they do not believe in the resurrection, their faith is not worth a wooden nickel.
Discussion Questions for GospelMany of us may be in the "Woe" category. We'd like to have money, we like to be well-fed rather than hungry, we like life to be pleasant and happy rather than sad, and we would like others to speak well of us. How can we be in the "Blest" category? The poor, the hungry, the sad, and the rejected may not feel very blest! Why would we want to join them?
Does Jesus mean that we should all be poor, hungry, sad, and rejected? What Jesus is saying is: these people have nothing and no one but God. Of course God cares about them! That is why they are blest! And we are most like God when we care, too!
Jesus is telling us (who are not poor, hungry, sad, or rejected) that we must be careful. Our riches, our full stomachs, our pleasant lives, and our efforts to be popular with others may well keep us from trusting in God. We must make great efforts to understand that the good things in our lives come from God and are meant to be shared.
Do we hoard our riches and not share our things? Do we eat or drink more than we need, or waste food, or not share food with people who are hungry? What is our church and charity budget vs. our budget for fun, vacations, entertainment, and the latest toys, cars, shoes, or clothes? Do we learn about the sadness and evil of the world and try to help, or do we do our best to ignore the problems in our world? "It's not my responsibility. That's somebody else's problem." How do we treat the most rejected in our society‹the mentally ill, the homeless, the addicted? Again, do we ignore them, or do we try to help them?
Jesus has taken his stand with the poor, the hungry, the sad, and the rejected. He has called them blest. Where do we stand?
Gospel Luke 6:17, 20-26
Gospel ReflectionYou might have noticed that this gospel reading sounds very similar to Matthew's account of the eight beatitudes in Jesus' Sermon on the Mount. In Luke's account today, Jesus names four categories of people who are "blest." They are: the poor who place their trust in God; those who hunger for God and God's reign; those who weep because there is so much suffering and evil in the world; and those who are persecuted because they live their faith.
Jesus then names four categories of people who will suffer misery because they do not put their trust in God. They are: the rich; the well-fed; the uncaring; and those who are accepted because they live by the world's values instead of the gospel. These people have woes because they may forget that we must all be dependent on God and not on things.
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
Body BuildingOur bodies are special gifts from God. We should take care of them.
Exercise is one way to do this. Gather the children together and lead them in the following exercises.
Love Your EnemiesShare the following situations with the children. Discuss how they can respond to each situation by living Jesus' words to "Love your enemies."
Proclaiming Faith Activities
Where Do You Stand?In today's gospel, Jesus challenges us to take a closer look at the ways we are living as his disciples. Use the chart such as this to help you think about where you stand. Would Jesus say to you, "Blest are you"?
Blest are you poor. . . "
Have you trusted in God in hard times?
What I Have Done
"Blest are you who weep. . . ."
Have you cared about those who are treated unfairly?
What I Have Done
"Blest are you who hunger. . . ."
Have you ever wanted to really share God's message of love?
What I Have Done
How can you try to answer Jesus' challenge this week?
Blest Are YouIn today's gospel, Luke tells us of four different kinds of people whom Jesus blessed. Think of other people Jesus would call blest because of the way they are trying to follow him. (Example: "Blest are those who tell the truth even when it's hard.")
On a sheet of paper, draw three shields. On each shield, design a blessing you think Jesus might give.
Suggestions: Blest are you who live in peace with others. Blest are you who respond patiently when you are misunderstood.
Of the three shields you designed, which of these will you do this week in order to "hear" Jesus say to you, "Blest are you"?
For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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