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Jesus Was Invited to the Wedding + Week of Prayer for Christian Unity + Second Week of Ordinary Time

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This week in The Bread:

  • We celebrate the feast days of saints Sebastian and Agnes this week, along with a layman who was made pope after a dove landed on his head, and a Japanese woman who lived with the poor in the slums of Tokyo.
  • In the latest excerpt from The Gift of Birth: Spiritual Direction for Expecting Mothers, Susan Windley-Daoust talks about labor as the process of yielding to the work of the Holy Spirit, the Giver of life. Be sure to sign up to be notified when the book is available; you’ll find the sign up form at the bottom of her article (link below).
  • We mark the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade this week with links to resources and a spiritual adoption activity inspired by the Venerable Fulton Sheen (get the link below). Plus, a way for older kids to take action right now.
  • The Vatican tweeted the passing of David Bowie; Jen Schlameuss-Perry has her own way of honoring the artist with a family-oriented review of the “classic” film Labyrinth.
  • How does your family remember its baptismal promises? Heidi Indahl has a simple activity for reminding your kids that they have promised to be children of light.
  • What did Martin Luther King Jr. like to eat? Make some of his favorite foods as a springboard for talking about the connections between faith and the civil rights movement. (See the “other resources” link below.)
  • Check out the results of our reader survey (find the link below)…and there’s still time to have your say as we continue our annual planning: Take the survey here.
  • Teen artist Carly Lobenhofer is still on break but will resume providing The Bread with coloring sheets in a few weeks.

 

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THE WORD THIS SUNDAY

Sunday, January 17, 2016
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

FIRST READING
As a young man marries a virgin,
your Builder shall marry you;
and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride so shall your God rejoice in you.
Isaiah 62:1-5

PSALM
Proclaim his marvelous deeds to all the nations.
Psalm 96

SECOND READING
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.
1 Corinthians 12:4-11

GOSPEL
There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding.
John 2:1-11

REFLECTION
Last week we heard about the baptism of Jesus, which marks the beginning of his public ministry; this week, we hear about his first miracle. How is Jesus “invited” to Catholic weddings? How is he invited to your family dinner table?

This reflection continues in Breaking Open the Word at Home has more Sunday Scripture resources, including reflection questions for kids and adults; by Jennifer Schlameuss-Perry.

 

THE CHURCH THIS WEEK

MONDAY January 18
St. Prisca (first century)
The woman who, with her husband Aquilla, saved Paul’s life, joined in his missionary work, and founded several churches.

» Martin Luther King Day

» Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

TUESDAY January 19
Ven. Frederic Baraga (1797-1868)
The priest (and later bishop) who wrote catechisms in the Ottawa and Ojibway languages and traveled hundreds of miles through the Great Lakes wilderness to minister to Indians and Europeans alike.

WEDNESDAY January 20
St. Fabian (died 250)
The layman who was elected pope after a dove landed on his head; he collected the stories of the martyrs, and was martyred himself.

THURSDAY January 21
St. Sebastian (third century)
The man who helped Christian martyrs until he was discovered; he was ordered shot by archers.

FRIDAY January 22
St. Agnes (third century)
The 13-year-old martyr who restored the sight of one of her persecutors.

» Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

SATURDAY January 23
Ven. Sotoko Kitabara (1929-1958)
The young Japanese woman whose conversion inspired her to live among the poor in a Tokyo slum.

THE WEEKS AHEAD
2 weeks to Catholic Schools Week (Jan 31 – Feb 6)

 

THE GRACE THIS WEEK

Try out a handful of these ideas this week . . . and if you want to “play for points,” record your points in the Get Your Grace On game in the PDF version of The Bread. You can add up your points at the end of the week, and give your kids an appropriate prize. Points are roughly equivalent to minutes, so adjust your points for extra time spent on family faith formation.

PRAY

Preview this Sunday’s readings with your kids. [20]

Encourage your kids to “spiritually adopt” and pray for a child in danger of abortion, using the prayer suggested by Ven.Fulton Sheen.* [90]

Pray for Christian unity this week! Search “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity” online to find resources from the Vatican, the USCCB, and the World Council of Churches. [40]

CELEBRATE

Honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. by making a dinner of his favorite foods: buttermilk-fried chicken, oven-roasted sweet potatoes, cornbread, collard greens, and pecan pie. Discuss the role of faith in the civil rights movement. [70]

SERVE

Have your older kids write or call their state and federal elected officials to urge them to urge support for the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act protecting health care workers from being coerced to perform abortions. Send personalized e-mail from USCCB.org; nevigate to Issues and Action > Human Life and Dignity for a wealth of resources. [60]

Encourage your kids to search the house for change to contribute to the Collection for the Church in Latin America (Jan 23-24), then let them place their donation with yours in the basket. Inspire action by watching a video about the collection; you’ll find it at the USCCB’s CLA page. [40]

TALK

How do you help your kids talk about difficult issues? Head over to pbgrace.com for “Five Ways to Help Catholic Kids Talk about Church Teaching on Tough Issues.” [25]

 

Stump the Parents! Jesus the Christ

This week’s theme: Jesus the Christ.

Have your kids check out questions #79-93 in the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (available online), where they’ll also find the answers. Then let them try to stump you. (Find complete directions for Stump the Parents at pbgrace.com). Some sample questions:

  • What is the Good News for humanity? (#79)
  • What is the meaning of the name “Jesus”? (#81)
  • Why is Jesus called “Christ”? (#82)
  • In what sense is Jesus the Only Begotten Son of God? (#83)
  • What is the meaning of the title “Lord”? (#84)
  • Why did the Son of God become man? (#85)
  • What does the word “Incarnation” mean? (#86)
  • In what way is Jesus Christ true God and true man? (#87)
  • Did Jesus have a soul with human knowledge? (#90)
  • How did the two wills of the incarnate Word cooperate? (#91)
  • Did Christ have a true human body? (#92)
  • What does the heart of Jesus exemplify? (#93)

How to play: Older kids and teens skim the text to come up with questions to ask their parents. Parents score 10 points for correct answers; kids score 20 points for stumping the parents. All points get added up for the Get Your Grace On game. See “Stump the Parents” at pbgrace.com for more ideas.

 

EVEN MORE FOR YOUR WEEK

Labor is Yielding to the Work of the Holy Spirit
Many first-time birth mothers wonder about the hard realities of giving birth: “Will I be able to handle it?” Perhaps we should turn those questions upside down and think about birth as a spiritual opportunity to yield to the work of the Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life.
by Susan Windley-Daoust

Teach Your Kids about Baptism with the “Child of Light” Promise Activity
Whether you’re celebrating a family member’s baptism or a liturgical feast, you can renew your family’s promise to live in the light of Christ with this simple family discussion and activity.
by Heidi Indahl

Labyrinth | Bigger on the Inside
In honor of the passing of David Bowie, I made my family watch Labyrinth. Yes, “made,” because this movie is a classic! Before your family watches it, here are a few things to consider.
by Jen Schlameuss-Perry

Water Into Wine | Breaking Open the Word at Home
Today we hear of Jesus’ first miracle—turning water into wine at a wedding. It can be a reminder that, even when we think we don’t have what we need, Jesus works with what we do have and makes it into what we were looking for.
by Jen Schlameuss-Perry

And the survey says…
Our readers spoke, and we’re listening…and processing. Here’s some of what you said.

Other resources

Holy Heroes Spiritual Adoption Adventure
This great prayer activity from Holy Heroes is a great way to pray for the unborn with your kids: “Inspired by Venerable Fulton Sheen’s “Spiritual Adoption Prayer,” families and individuals who join this initiative will “adopt” and pray for an unborn child in need, receiving periodic updates throughout the “pregnancy” that provide insight into the baby’s growth and development.”

Martin Luther King: A History
An overview of Martin Luther King’s life, with an emphasis on the role of faith, from Christianity Today.

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