In the readings for Sunday, July 1, we’re reminded that God takes no pleasure in death, but that God conquers it in the Resurrection.
by Jen Schlameuss-Perry
Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24
For God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made him.
I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15
… Our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.
He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”
You can read the full text of this Sunday’s readings here:
It is mentioned several times in Scripture that death is the enemy of God. In today’s first reading, we hear that death is not part of the created order — that God did not create it, but that we invited it into the world through our cooperation with the devil, and that “they who belong to his company experience it.” Of course, we all experience it because we all sin at times in our life. The second reading speaks to Jesus’ great charity in becoming poor like us; vulnerable like us, so that we can be rich in grace and the Spirit. Jesus also looks to our material needs, and through our charitable efforts, continues to minister to the poor. We are called to share what we have so that no one should be without.
The Gospel invites us to experience healings on several different levels through two stories sandwiched together. First we meet Jairus whose young daughter had died. He was very worried, and his household was grieving as only people who have lost a child can. While Jesus was on his way to their house, a woman who had become desperate in her suffering, touches his cloak fully expecting to be healed. She was! When Jesus questioned her, she fessed up, and he commended her for her faith. Jesus got to Jairus’ house and healed the young girl. From these two events, a woman with chronic illness was healed, a little girl was healed from death, her parents and their community were healed from grief. Wherever Jesus is, death has no power. He took death on himself and conquered it in the resurrection so that when that enemy shows up on our door, Jesus stands right with us to take our hands and say, “Arise.”
Did you ever lose someone you love? What helped you to feel better when you were sad?
What do you think the Wisdom reading means when it says, “they who belong to his [the devil’s] company experience it [death]”? If we are Christians and we reject the devil, why do we still suffer?
What has been your experience of death? What has been your experience of the Resurrection in times of suffering, illness, or grief?
The woman who had been ill for a long time had the gumption to touch Jesus — which was absolutely against the Jewish law — because she couldn’t take the pain anymore. What do you feel so strongly about that it makes you take action, even if you’re afraid to do it?
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.”