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Rich in What Matters • M:CEE

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Reading Time: 8 minutes


July 31-August 6: Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

St. Alphonsus Liguori + St. John Vianney + St. Peter Faber + How Will You Make a Retreat?

How to Use M:CEE • Daily Missions • Power to the Parents • Stump the Parents

Doing MISSION:CHRISTIAN with your kids?
It works best with the MISSION:CHRISTIAN journal.
Order the print edition or download the PDF edition now.



MISSIONS for Your Kids

Your kids can switch out these special missions for one or more of the daily missions.

  • Walk on water (in other words, do something for Christ that scares you).
  • Spend half an hour in quiet prayer.
  • Go to Mass, and sing all the songs and say all the prayers.


SUNDAY, July 31

Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

FIRST READING Ecclesiastes 1:2; 2:21-23
For what profit comes to man from all the toil and anxiety of heart
with which he has labored under the sun?

If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

SECOND READING Colossians 2:12-14
Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly:
immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire,
and the greed that is idolatry.

GOSPEL Luke 12:13-21
“Thus will it be for all who store up treasure for themselves
but are not rich in what matters to God.”

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 August 1

Matthew 14:13-21
Jesus tells the apostles to feed a crowd of 5,000 people. There’s one problem:
Not enough food. Or is there?

St. Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787)
The bishop and Doctor of the Church best known for his practical approach to moral theology. “Your God is ever beside you; indeed, He is even within you.”

TODAY’S MISSION: In today’s reading, when his disciples tell Jesus that the crowds are hungry, Jesus tells them: “You give them something to eat” (Matthew 14:16). MISSION: Find someone who is hungry and feed them.


TUESDAY August 2

Matthew 14:22–36
Th e disciples are crossing the sea in a boat when a violent storm hits. Where is Jesus when you need him?

St. Eusebius (283–371)
The bishop who stood up to the Arian heresy at the Council of Milan, defying even the Roman emperor, who exiled him. The Arian heresy was the belief of some
Christians (known as Arians) that Jesus was not God.

TODAY’S MISSION: St. Eusebius was threatened with death and exiled from his home because he refused to go along with the Arians. MISSION: Stand up for the truth. Or, walk on water. (See the “Special Missions” in the back of the journal!)



Matthew 15:21-28
Jesus ignores the pleas of a Canaanite woman for him to heal her daughter—until she makes one last appeal.

St. Peter Faber (1506–1546)
One of the co-founders of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), he criss-crossed Europe urging priests and bishops to renew their vocation. He is one of Pope Francis’s favorite saints! “Take care, take care, not to close your heart to anyone.”

TODAY’S MISSION: Peter Faber persuaded his opponents not with angry arguments, but with friendly conversation and gentleness. He prayed to his friends, the angels and saints, to help him with this. MISSION: If you fi nd yourself getting into an argument, try friendly conversation and listening—pray for help to do this!



Matthew 16:13–23
When Jesus asks who the disciples say that he is, Peter off ers an answer
that earns’ Jesus’ praise. But don’t get too smug, Peter!

St. John Vianney (1696-1787)
The priest who heard up to 100,000 confessions a year from people who came
from all over the world. As a boy, John Vianney’s family had to sneak to Mass in secret places, and the windows were blacked out at his First Communion
because the French Revolution had made the Catholic Church illegal. “We will have to answer for why we did or didn’t give [to the poor], and the poor will have to answer for what they did with what is given them.”

TODAY’S MISSION: John Vianney prayed in secret as a boy because he
had to; but he also found quiet places to pray as an adult. MISSION: Find (or make) a secret place where you can pray.


FRIDAY August 5

Summer Olympics (August 5-21)

Matthew 16:24-28
Jesus tells his friends about the cost (and rewards!) of following him.

St. Nonna (died 374)
Th e holy woman who prayed for the conversion of her pagan husband, who eventually became a bishop now known as St. Gregory Nazianzen. Three of her children also became saints.

TODAY’S MISSION: In today’s Gospel, Jesus says that whoever wants
to follow him must deny their own desires, take up their cross, and follow his example. MISSION: Do something good for yourself or another by giving up something you want to have or do.



Feast of the Transfiguration

Luke 9:28–36
Jesus takes three of his closest friends up a mountain to pray. They fall asleep . . . and when they wake up, they can hardly believe their eyes!

Venerable Antonio Margil de Jesus (1657-1726)
The Franciscan missionary to Mexico and Texas who walked thousands of miles
barefoot, became a true friend of Native American peoples, and called himself
“Nothingness Itself.” “To enjoy God there is an eternity given to us; but the time given us to serve God and our brethren is very short.”

TODAY’S MISSION: Antonio Margil won the trust of the Native peoples
by his humility, friendship, and service. MISSION: Find out what Native American
communities live near you, and how you might serve them in humility and friendship.


Coming Up

Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary (August 15)

Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 22)

Did you know you can get daily updates from Peanut Butter & Grace on Facebook, including daily missions for your kids? Like our page @peanutbutterandgrace, then click the Liked button again and select Get Notifications.



Molly McBride and the Purple Habit
Meet Molly McBride! Molly loves her new purple habit — it’s just like the ones her friends, the Children of Mary Sisters, wear. She loves it so much, in fact, that she doesn’t want to take it off…not even for her sister’s big day! Join Molly and her wolf-pet Francis as they learn all about nuns, habits, and giving your heart to Jesus. It’s Molly McBride and the Purple Habit by Jean Schoonover-Egolf, now available at Amazon.com from Gracewatch Media. You’ll be able to buy the book directly from Gracewatch Media in a week or so.

Why Every Mom and Dad Needs to Make a Retreat (and How to Make It Happen)
Yes, you need to get away on a retreat, even though your kids are young and you’re too busy. Here’s why, and a few ideas for how to make it happen.   by Jerry Windley-Daoust

The Children of Infant Loss
My children are, without a doubt, children of loss. Sometimes I worry about how their direct experience of miscarriages and stillbirths might affect them; but this past week, I saw how the Holy Spirit is using their experience of loss for the good.    by Heidi Indahl

Joanna’s Birth Story: “God Was Present Throughout”
“The times in my life when I have felt closest to God were immediately following childbirth, when my new child has been placed in my arms. The experience always magnifies my awe and wonder at the miracle of creation. …”

Star Trek: Beyond | Bigger on the Inside
Seeing Star Trek: Beyond with your kids? Lucky for you, it’s one of the better movies in the franchise. Here are some themes to discuss that tie in with your family’s Catholic faith.     by Jennifer Schlameuss-Perry

Life Isn’t Stuff | Breaking Open the Word at Home
What really matters in life? Sunday’s readings urge us to re-focus our lives on building up the only kind of riches that really matter. by Jen Schlameuss-Perry



STUMP THE PARENTS: The Sacrament of Anointing

Have your kids look at the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (available online) #313-320, 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.”

Sample questions:

  • How was sickness viewed in the Old Testament? (#313)
  • What is the significance of Jesus’ compassion for the sick? (#314)
  • What is the attitude of the Church toward the sick? (#315)
  • Who can receive the sacrament of the anointing of the sick? (#316)
  • Who administers this sacrament? (#317)
  • How is this sacrament celebrated? (#318)
  • What are the effects of this sacrament? (#319)
  • What is Viaticum? (#320)



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.


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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