July 24-30: Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
World Youth Day + Sts. Joachim and Anne + St. Martha + Making Space for Faith in Kids’ Busy Schedules + Steubenville Conferences: Should Your Child Go?
Did you know you can get daily updates from Peanut Butter & Grace on Facebook, including daily missions for your kids? Like our page, then click the Liked button again and select Get Notifications. We post new material 2-3 times a day, except Sundays.
You can switch out these special missions for one or more of the daily missions.
- Participate in World Youth Day this week by following events online
- Learn something new about how to pray the Our Father
- Pray whenever you hear emergency vehicles this week
SUNDAY, July 24
FIRST READING Genesis 18:20-32
“Should not the judge of all the world act with justice?”
Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
SECOND READING Colossians 2:12-14
…having forgiven us all our transgressions;
obliterating the bond against us, with its legal claims,
which was opposed to us,
he also removed it from our midst, nailing it to the cross.
GOSPEL Luke 11:1-13
“And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
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 25
“Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant.” Jesus modeled what authority should look like: people who are in authority should serve those to whom they are responsible. How do you exercise authority?
Known as “James the Greater,” this original Apostle left everything to follow Jesus. He was the first apostle to be martyred when he was arrested and killed by King Herod.
TODAY’S MISSION: Follow Jesus’ teaching in today’s Gospel by being a servant to someone.
TUESDAY, July 26
“The righteous will shine like the sun.” Jesus tries to plant seeds that will bear good fruit in us. When we allow God’s Presence to grow in us, we become a shining light to those who need hope. How does God shine in you?
Sts. Joachim and Anne
We don’t know much about these two saints, but they are Mary’s mom and dad–Jesus’ grandparents! They must have been amazing people to have raised such a beautiful, compassionate, gentle, and brave daughter who would become the Mother of God.
TODAY’S MISSION: In honor of Sts. Joachim and Anne, think of one or more virtues (patience, humility, strength, etc.) that your grandparents have taught you; then call them up and thank them for being a model of faith for you.
WEDNESDAY, July 27
“The Kingdom of heaven is like a treasure…” Jesus tells us that the kingdom of heaven is valuable and available to everyone. But, when we discover it, there are steps we have to take to make it part of our lives.What steps do you take to make God’s kingdom present in your life?
St. Olympias (361-408)
A wealthy noblewoman who spent her life serving the Church as a deaconess and using her wealth to help the Church and those in need; she was a great friend of St. John Chrysostom, and is one of the saints whose statue lines St. Peter’s square.
TODAY’S MISSION: Like St. Olympias, give away some of your “wealth” to support the Church or those in need.
THURSDAY, July 28
“Separate the wicked from the righteous.” God is the only one who can separate the good people from the bad–and he’ll do that at the end of time. In the meantime, it’s our job to show people what God is like. How do you try to show people who don’t know God what God is like?
Servant of God Fr. Stanley Rother (1935-1981)
Fr. Rother was a priest from Oklahoma who became a missionary to the Tz’utujil people of rural Guatamala. He lived in their homes, translated the New Testament into their language, and built a hospital and educational radio station for them. He briefly returned to Oklahoma when government forces threatened to kill him, but returned after a few months, saying that “a shepherd should never run from his people.” He was killed by a death squad and declared a martyr.
Check out this clip from a video documentary about Fr. Rother, in which he talks about why he decided to return to Guatemala, despite the risks.
TODAY’S MISSION: Like Fr. Rother, do something brave (something you’re not normally comfortable doing) for God.
FRIDAY, July 29
“There is need of only one thing..” Martha was busy serving and got mad that her sister wasn’t helping. Jesus told her she shouldn’t worry about what Mary was doing–she was taking time with Jesus. Do you have trouble minding your own business, and just doing what you know is right?
Martha was a good friend of Jesus. She, her sister Mary, and their brother Lazarus were good friends of Jesus. Even when she was grieving the loss of her brother, Martha had strong faith in Jesus’ teaching on the Resurrection and placed her hope in it.
TODAY’S MISSION: In honor of St. Martha, make a meal or a snack for someone.
SATURDAY, July 30
“Mighty powers are at work in him.” Herod was not open to God, and so he didn’t understand what Jesus and John the Baptist were all about. He was afraid of them instead of letting them teach him about God’s love and mercy. Are you sometimes too afraid or angry to hear what people are really saying? Do you sometimes miss opportunities for forgiveness because of your anger or fear?
St. Peter Chrysologus (406-450)
The bishop of Ravenna and a Doctor of the Church, St. Peter was nicknamed Chrysologus, or “golden-mouthed,” for his wonderful sermons. His main topics were the mystery of the Incarnation and the need for frequent communion.
TODAY’S MISSION: Imitate “golden-mouthed” St. Peter Chrysologus by writing something beautiful about God, like a poem or a song. (St. Peter always kept his homilies short, so yours doesn’t have to be long to be good.)
POWER TO THE PARENTS
4 Ways to Make Room for Faith in Your Kids’ Busy Activities Schedule
Are your kids’ favorite activities crowding out their faith life? It doesn’t need to be that way. Here are four strategies for balancing faith with kids’ favorite activities. by Ryan Langr
Steubenville Conferences: Should Your Teen Go?
Nearly 50,000 Catholic youth attend Steubenville Youth Conferences every year. Should your teen go? Get the take of a parent chaperone. by Susan Windley-Daoust
A Spiritual Response to Postpartum Depression
Postpartum depression is the cruelest trick: You’re supposed to be happy, but you’re not. Here are some strategies, practical and spiritual, for getting through to the other side. by Susan Windley-Daoust
Our Summer of Mentoring
This summer, I’ve seen a new side of my kids’ relationships as the way they mentor one another has come to the fore. by Heidi Indahl
Teach Us To Pray | Breaking Open the Word at Home
God values time with us and wants to hear what we have to say. Because of this, God gives us advice on how to pray—not because God is picky about how we talk to him, but so that we can feel confident and comfortable approaching him.
STUMP THE PARENTS: The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation Part 2
Have your kids look at the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (available online) #308-312, 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.”
- To whom is the absolution of some sins reserved? (#308)
- Is a confessor bound to secrecy? (#309)
- What are the effects of this sacrament? (#310)
- Can this sacrament be celebrated in some cases with a general confession and general absolution? (#311)
- What are indulgences? (#312)
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.