July 17-23: Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Helping Kids Cope in a Violent World + St. Brigid + Mary Magdalene + Pope Leo XIII
You can switch out these special missions for one or more of the daily missions.
- In preparation for World Youth Day at the end of this month, learn the World Youth Day theme song: English version | Official Polish version
- Learn a little bit of Latin
- Share your highs and lows at a family meal
SUNDAY, July 17
FIRST READING Genesis 18:1-10a
“I will surely return to you about this time next year,
and Sarah will then have a son.”
He who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.
SECOND READING Colossians 1:24-28
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake,
and in my flesh I am filling up
what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ
on behalf of his body, which is the church. . . .
GOSPEL Luke 10:38-42
“Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.”
TODAY’S MISSION: Preview the Sunday readings, using these basic questions as a starting point for conversation:
- What is the common theme in these readings?
- What line or phrase most spoke to you?
- How is God’s Word in these readings calling you to live?
Get a family-friendly look at the readings plus reflection questions for kids, teens, and adults in this week’s Breaking Open the Word at Home.
MONDAY July 18
“We wish to see a sign” People always want clear, obvious signs from God about what they should do. Jesus says we were given a clear, obvious sign–himself! How do you see God giving you signs, or speaking to you?
St. Camillus de Lellis (1550-1614)
A quarrelsome gambler who had a disease in his leg, Camillus experienced a conversion and was drawn to the priesthood. He was rejected by two religious communities because of his medical condition, but his persistence paid off; and he did become a priest, and even founded his own order!
TODAY’S MISSION: Even though he was sick, Camillus lived to serve the sick and poor. Today, like St. Camillus, comfort someone who is sick.
TUESDAY, July 19
Matthew 12: 46-50
“Who is my mother?” Jesus identifies anyone who does the will of the Father as his family (mother or brothers). We are God’s family by baptism, but after that, by being family to all of God’s children. Who is like family to you?
St. Mary MacKillop (1842-1909)
The first and only Australian to be canonized a saint, Mary MacKillop dedicated her life to establishing schools to educate poor Catholics. She persisted in her mission, founding the Josephite order despite persistent opposition from within the Church.
TODAY’S MISSION: Today, like St. Mary MacKillop, teach someone something they would like to learn.
WEDNESDAY, July 20
“Be good soil” Jesus reminds us that everyone has the opportunity to know God, but we are personally responsible for whether we choose to or not. We can let God’s Word take root in our hearts, which will produce fruit of kindness and compassion, or we can let the Word die away from us. How can your prepare the “soil” of your heart for God to grow there?
St. Apollinaris (1st century)
Appollinaris was sent by Peter to a town in Italy where pagans kept beating him up and throwing him out. It happened four times. He finally died the fourth time. But, he never gave up trying to spread God’s Word.
TODAY’S MISSION: In keeping with today’s Gospel (Matthew 13:1-9), sow some seeds that will produce something good.
Parents: Younger children may actually sow real seeds; older kids might be guided to think about what it means to “sow seeds” in the hearts of others.
THURSDAY, July 21
“Blessed are your ears.” The disciples didn’t always understand everything Jesus said. In today’s Gospel, they asked him why he spoke in parables. He explains that it’s so that the people who really want to understand will, and those who didn’t really care wouldn’t take the time to understand. The disciples are blessed because they do the work that’s necessary for having a relationship with God. Think of a time that you got news that made your ears feel blessed.
Pope Leo XIII (1810-1903)
Pope Leo XIII is remembered mostly for teaching about how our Catholic faith should shape society; his writing became the foundation for the modern Catholic social teaching tradition. His encyclical, Rerum Novarum, spoke primarily about the rights of workers.
TODAY’S MISSION: In honor of Pope Leo XIII, find a special way to thank someone for the work they do.
FRIDAY, July 22
John 20:1-2, 11-18
“I have seen the Lord.” Mary Magdalene was the first person to whom Jesus appeared after he rose from the dead. He asked her to bring that news to the apostles. He told her that she has to “stop holding on to” him because he had to go back to heaven. Do you ever want to stay somewhere good when it’s time to go back to reality?
St. Mary Magdalene
Mary Magdalene is often called the “Apostle to the Apostles” because of her role in sharing the good news that Jesus was risen from the dead. When she first met Jesus, he cast seven demons out of her. Mary Magdalene became a good friend and supporter of Jesus; besides the mother of Jesus, she is one of the most honored women in the New Testament.
TODAY’S MISSION: Like Mary Magdalene, get up very early in the morning to seek Jesus, and say a prayer to her.
SATURDAY, July 23
“Let them grow together.” If you’ve ever done any gardening, you know that it can be difficult to tear out the weeds without also damaging the good plants. Jesus tells us that the same is true for people: the good and the bad grow together, in the hope that those who appear bad may turn out some day to be “good wheat.” Are you more like wheat or weeds today?
St. Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373)
Bridget began having visions of Jesus when she was seven years old. As a young woman, she helped unwed mothers and for a time was a lady-in-waiting for the Queen of Sweden. Later, she traveled to Rome to urge reforms in the Church. When her husband died, she began a religious order called the Bridgitines (the king gave her money to build monasteries for them).
TODAY’S MISSION: Help someone weed their garden today; as you do, pray for the people who seem to be “weeds” in your life.
POWER TO THE PARENTS
Helping Kids Cope in a Violent World
When kids witness violence and hatred in the world, how can parents help them cope? Here are five ways faith can help. by Ryan Langr
3 Questions to Help Kids Judge Their Favorite Media in the Light of Their Faith
As kids grow older, it’s important to teach them the skills they need to evaluate their books, videos, and music for messages that might poison their minds and spirits. Here are three questions to guide them.
What’s the Message? A Media Awareness Checklist for Catholic Families
“You become what you watch and read.” Here’s a handy checklist for evaluating your kids’ media consumption in light of their Catholic faith. by Jerry Windley-Daoust
Choosing the Better Part | Breaking Open the Word at Home
Hospitality is a common theme in the Scriptures. Today the first reading and Gospel are stories about welcoming God’s presence with hospitality and how it enriches our lives. by Jen Schlameuss-Perry
STUMP THE PARENTS: The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation Part 1
Have your kids look at the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (available online) #295-307, then let them choose questions to pose to you; they get points if they can “stump” you, you get points if you answer correctly. See the full rules at “Stump the Parents.”
- What are the sacraments of healing? (#295)
- When did Jesus institute the sacrament of Reconciliation? (#298)
- What is interior penance? (#300)
- What are the essential elements of the sacrament of Reconciliation? (#302)
- What does the penitent do during the sacrament? (#303)
- What sins should be confessed? (#305)
How to use M:CEE
MISSION:CHRISTIAN; EXTRA EDITION (M:CEE) is the parent supplement to the MISSION:CHRISTIAN journal for kids ages 8-12. • Each day, read the day’s Scripture and/or saint with your child. Then give your child his/her mission for the day. (Use the Special Missions to replace daily missions that don’t work for your child.) • Beginning in August, your child will be able to file a “mission report” at the end of each day using his/her journal, which can be ordered in book form or printed out from the linked PDF. • Every week, check out articles just for parents in the Power to the Parents section of M:CEE. • Play Stump the Parents every week to help your children learn about their faith. • E-mail subscribers get special discount codes for 15%, 20%, or 25% off items in the Gracewatch Media store every month.
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