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Good Fruit • Breaking Open the Word at Home

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Scriptures for this Sunday, March 3, has some great ideas for knowing how our relationship with God is going, and thoughts on being careful about who we trust.

by Jen Schlameuss-Perry

Our first reading today reminds us to pay attention to what comes out of a person’s mouth and what their actions say about them, rather than their appearance or reputation. The Gospel warns us not to be the person who looks good until they start speaking, either.

Jesus warns us to engage regularly in self-reflection. If we are to lead others in faith—and we are, by virtue of our baptism meant to lead—then we’d better make sure that our own path is lit by God’s truth. I can’t lead anyone if I’m not paying attention to where God is leading me. How do we know if we’re on the right track? By looking at what sort of fruit our lives are producing—if our actions help others to be fulfilled, happy, healthy, hopeful, valued; if we are advancing the Gospel in concrete ways in our families, community and parish, we’re on the right track. If we cause chaos, confusion, hurt, etc., we need to re-evaluate how well we’re listening to God.

Our second reading, still from the First Letter to the Corinthians, is an encouragement to keep on doing what God tells us to do. They aren’t easy, but they are never in vain. God will always bring the efforts that match God’s will to fruition. Because of Jesus’ victory over sin and death, when we join our efforts to God’s, we share in that victory and will be guided by the light of faith.

Readings

Sirach 27: 4-7
Praise no one before he speaks, for it is then that people are tested.

Psalm 92
Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.

1 Corinthians 15:54-58
Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

Luke 6:39-45
“A good tree does not bear rotten fruit, nor does a rotten tree bear good fruit.”

You can read this Sunday’s readings here:

Scriptures for the Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Break Open the Word with Your Family

Kids

How do you decide if a person is nice? How do you know if you can trust a person?

Teens

Although we are not to judge anyone, we are called to correct lovingly when necessary. What is the difference between correcting others and judging them? Jesus tells us in the Gospel that the disciple should become like the teacher. Think about how Jesus treated and corrected the sinners he encountered. How can you become like the teacher in those situations?

Adults

What sort of fruit do your actions bear…in your family, your job, your school, your team, your friends, your community?

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.”

Follow Jerry Windley-Daoust:

Publisher, Gracewatch Media

Jerry Windley-Daoust is a writer, editor, and father of five. He writes essays and stories at Windhovering and is the show-runner for Gracewatch Media, a small Catholic publisher. You can follow his latest publishing projects at gracewatch.org.

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