In this Sunday’s readings, we hear how God reaches out to comfort his people.
by Jen Schlameuss-Perry
The first reading speaks of God’s promise to bring people in exile home again—they might be afraid now, but they will find joy when they return to their land. In the Letter to the Hebrews, we hear how our High Priest, Jesus, is kind and patient and cares for us as God calls all of his priests to do. The Gospel tells the story of blind Bartimeus who called out to Jesus for “pity” as he passed by. People tried to quiet him, but Jesus called him to himself and healed him. Each story tells us of God’s love and mercy; each shows the compassion of a God who has lived with and knows us.
You can read this Sunday’s readings here:
Break Open the Word with Your Family
Sometimes, when Jesus healed people they thanked him; sometimes they left everything behind and followed him; and sometimes they just went about their business without saying thank you. What do you think you would do if you were sick, or blind, or dead and Jesus healed you?
In the second reading, we are told that, like other High Priests, Jesus is chosen by God to makes sacrifices for the human race. Did you know that you were made a priest at your Baptism? We are all anointed to be priests, prophets and kings (it’s part of the Baptismal ritual!). As priests, we are called to minister to one another, to make sacrifices for one another, and to be a representative before God, as it says in the Letter to the Hebrews. How do you live your priestly ministry?
The reading from the Prophet Jeremiah invites us to “shout with joy” and “exult” because God will bring his people back “from the ends of the world.” God will fulfill his promise to deliver the “remnant.” That idea of being a “remnant” obviously isn’t new—and all these thousands of years later, it still feels like we are a remnant. But, that is not supposed to discourage us—it’s meant to hearten us. Do you find it hard to be joyful when you see what your kids are up against in today’s culture? How can you find joy in God’s promise that, even if we are a small remnant, God’s plan is still being fulfilled?
A little lectio
The ancient practice of prayerfully reflecting on bits of Scripture is known as lectio divina. Want to try it out with your family? Head over to Lectio Divina for Kids to find out how to adapt this prayer practice for your kids.
A little Bible study
Want to do a little Bible study with your kids? Here are some tips:
- During Ordinary Time, the Church pairs the Old Testament and New Testament readings in a way that each sheds light on the other. Ask your kids to look for the common theme connecting the two readings. (Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it is subtle.) How does the “dialogue” between the readings help you understand them better?
- Get a New American Bible, Revised Edition, and take a look at the footnotes for these readings. How do they change your understanding of what is going on?
- Take a look at the context for the readings—what happens before, or after?
- Read the NABRE’s introduction to the book of the Bible that the readings are taken from. How does that help you understand the readings?
- If you don’t have a copy of the NABRE at home, you can view it online at the USCCB website at the Daily Readings web page. (The link will take you to today’s reading; click forward or backward on the dates to get to Sunday’s readings.)
For even more resources for breaking open this Sunday’s readings, head over to The Sunday Website.
The image for Breaking Open the Word at Home is taken from a 17th century illuminated manuscript by an anonymous (but very talented) artist. The text is from the beginning of the Book of Sirach, chapter 1, verses 1-12, which begins: “All wisdom is from the Lord and remains with him forever.”