Today’s readings have a strong foreshadowing of what we will be celebrating next week, and all throughout Advent—the Coming of Jesus.
by Jen Schlameuss-Perry
As Catholic Christians, we believe that Jesus’ purpose in coming to earth to live among us as a human being was to offer us salvation. This is one of the times during the year when we think a lot about how we have received that invitation. We are reminded that Jesus will come again. This is something we look forward to—we even say it in a few of our regular prayers! “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end” and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come” are part of our Creed. A major point that is made at the end of today’s Gospel is that, “of that day or hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” Sometimes people pretend that they know when Jesus will come back and they try to scare people with it. But, we know that God would never do anything to hurt us and we are not afraid. Jesus brings healing and peace to anyone who wants it.
You can read this Sunday’s readings here:
Break Open the Word with Your Family
What do you think it would be like to meet Jesus? What do you think he would be like? What would he say to you? What would you say to him?
Do you ever see or hear about people who predict the end of the world? They tend to try and scare people and they are usually really, really judgmental. What are some clues that you can use to distinguish true messengers of God versus people who have another agenda? What are some qualities that people who are telling the truth have?
We are pretty bold in our prayers, claiming that we look forward to the end of the world. How do you feel about the potential for the world ending while we’re still here, or while our kids are still here? What do you think it will be like? What makes you able to look forward to 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.”