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God Did Not Make Death | The Bread for June 28 – July 4

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Christ Raising Jairus' Daughter, by William Blake
Christ Raising Jairus’ Daughter, by William Blake

The Bread will be coming to you in an abbreviated format for the rest of the summer so that we can focus on the great resources we hope to roll out this fall.

This week, read and reflect on God’s desire for us to be wholly alive; pray for civic leaders; live the Gospel by practicing kindness (try our long morning hug idea!), talk about religious freedom (we’ve got a link to the Fortnight for Freedom website), and celebrate the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, plus two saintly queens. It’s all coming up this week in The Bread!


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The Week at a Glance


June 29

Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

Mass readings

The first among the apostles and the last of the apostles


June 30

St. Emma (980-1045)

The humble queen who gave meat and bread to the poor in her bare feet


July 1

Blessed Juniper Serra (1713-1784)

Founder of California missions and evangelist of Native peoples


July 2

St. Oliver Plunkett

The Irish Archbishop who led his people through persecution and was killed by the English


July 3

St. Thomas

Apostle to the people of India 


July 4

St. Elizabeth of Portugal (1271-1336)

The queen known as “the Peacemaker”

Independence Day

What To Do This Week


Preview Sunday’s readings with your kids; find the text of the readings at the USCCB and the readings in context at the links below.

Wisdom 1:13-15, 2:23-24

God did not make death,
nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living.

Psalm 30:2-13

I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.

2 Corinthians 8:7-15

Though he was rich, for your sake he became poor,
so that by his poverty you might become rich.

Mark 5:21-43

Jesus said to the synagogue official,
“Do not be afraid; just have faith.”

This week, we hear from the Book of Wisdom that God did not make death, but made humanity in his own image to be imperishable . . . a truth that is realized in the Gospel reading, in which Jesus heals the hemorrhaging woman and raises Jairus’ daughter from the dead.

As you preview the readings, share with your kids which line “speaks” to you most vividly, and invite them to share the same. What implications do the readings have for how you live together as a family? What might it look like to live without fear of death? What does it mean to be made whole by Jesus?

Raise Bible-literate kids! Paraphrase or act out this week’s Gospel story with younger children, and explore the readings more in depth using the commentary accompanying the New American Bible Revised Edition (links above) and the many resources of The Sunday Website.



A Prayer for Civic Leaders

Remember to pray for our nation and our civic leaders this Fourth of July. (Better yet, start the day with Mass.) Pray this prayer with your kids:

God our Father,
You guide everything in wisdom and love.
Accept the prayers we offer for our nation.
In your goodness,
watch over those in authority
so that people everywhere
may enjoy freedom, security and peace.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.

(from Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers)



Practice kindness with the 30-second morning hug

As we continue practicing the virtues this summer, spend this week focused on kindness, which is also one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Kindness is “the quality of understanding sympathy and concern for those in trouble or need,” according to the Modern Catholic Dictionary.

Give a boost to kindness in your home this week by beginning the morning with 30-second hugs. Give each of your children (and your spouse) a 30-second hug every morning, and see what kind of difference it makes in your day. Invite your (willing) kids to do the same for one another.

You may not start out wanting to hug your kids in the morning (some of us are just not morning people!), but the Catholic sacramental sensibility is that physical realities are intertwined with spiritual realities . . . which is to say, give it a shot and see whether a long hug has a positive effect on the level of kindness in your family.



Take part in the Fortnight for Freedom

With religious liberty under attack as never before in the United States and around the world, this July 4th is a great time to participate in the Fortnight for Freedom, two weeks of education, prayer, and action on behalf of religious liberty. You can get resources for participating at the USCCB’s Fortnight for Freedom web page, or watch this brief overview video:




Celebrating the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul

Since we’re being lazy this summer (well, working on lots of books, anyway), we’re going to hand you along to Shower of Roses for some great ideas about how to celebrate the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, including a cool barque of Peter juice box craft.

The Bread comes to you every Thursday. To subscribe by e-mail, go to pbgrace.com and fill out the “Subscribe” form.


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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