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Set the Earth on Fire • M:CEE

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Reading Time: 8 minutes

mcee-Aug 14


August 14-20: Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

Assumption of Mary + St. Bernard of Clairvaux + St. Helen
Sacred Story Time + Saint Coloring Sheets + Explaining the Assumption to Kids

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.
Download the PDF edition now or pre-order the October-January edition.





MISSIONS for Your Kids

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

  • Ask God to show you someone who needs your help . . . then help them.
  • Do a chore (like cleaning the kitchen or sweeping the floor) . . . in secret.
  • Ask God to bless your work, and make it a gift for him.
  • Say the Glorious Mysteries of the rosary.


SUNDAY, August 14

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

TODAY’S MISSION: Jesus says that sometimes, doing what is right means going against one’s own family. On the other hand, love of God can unite the members of a family. MISSION: Do something good for people in your family.

FIRST READING Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10
And so they took Jeremiah
and threw him into the cistern
. . . and Jeremiah sank
into the mud.

SECOND READING Hebrews 12:1–4
. . . let us . . . persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus,

GOSPEL Luke 12:49–53
Jesus said to his disciples: “I have come to set the earth on fi re, and how I wish it were already blazing!”

PARENTS: 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 15

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

TODAY’S MISSION: Make an act of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. For example, pray the rosary or a special Marian prayer, or make an act of consecration to her.

Revelation 11:19; 12:1-6, 10
A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

Luke 1:39–56
“Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

The beautiful Sistine Chapel was consecrated today in 1483


TUESDAY August 16

TODAY’S MISSION: Jesus says that those who put themselves first are last in the Kingdom of Heaven, but those who generously make themselves last for the sake of others are first in the Kingdom of Heaven. MISSION: Let someone else go first.

Matthew 19:23–30
Peter asks Jesus a tough question: “We have given up everything and followed you.What will there be for us?” What Jesus promises to Peter is promised to you, too.

St. Stephen of Hungary (975-1038)
The king who brought Christianity  to Hungary.

GOD’S CREATION: Seekers of the Light
Sunflowers turn their faces toward the light, much like human beings seek the light of God. Collect a  bouquet of sunflowers this month for the prayer space in your home.



TODAY’S MISSION: A lot of people think that “fair” means everyone getting the same. But in his parable, Jesus teaches that in the Kingdom of Heaven, generosity is the rule, with everyone getting what they need. MISSION: Be ridiculously generous to someone.

Matthew 20:1-16
“No fair! He got more than me!” No, it’s not a fight between kids—it’s a bunch of workers complaining about the generosity of their employer.

St. Joan of the Cross (1666-1736)
The French shopkeeper known for her greed and stinginess, until a change of heart led her
to close her shop to serve the poor and the sick.

Appearance of Our Lady of La Vang to persecuted Vietnamese Catholics


THURSDAY August 18

TODAY’S MISSION: St. Helen searched far and wide for the cross that Jesus was crucified on. Although crucifixion was invented to torture, kill, and shame people, Jesus transformed it into a sign that no one can overcome God’s life-giving love. MISSION: Make a cross (ideally from natural wood) that you can hold during prayer. Bonus: Have it blessed by a priest.

Matthew 22:1–14
A king invites important people to a big feast, but the guests are too busy to attend, and some even kill the king’s servants! Will those rude guests ruin the whole party?

St. Helen (250–330)
The mother of the Roman emperor Constantine, who legalized Christianity. He sent her to Palestine to search for the true cross on which Christ was crucified. While there, she built churches at the holy places connected to biblical events.

Ice Cream Pie Day: The perfect dessert for a hot day!


FRIDAY August 19

TODAY’S MISSION: Jesus taught that love of God and neighbor is the rule by which all other rules are measured. MISSION: Pray this prayer once every hour today: “God, teach me how to love you with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind.”

Matthew 22:34–40
Jesus sums up your most important mission in just 27 words.

St. Emily of Vercelli (1238–1314)
The young Dominican nun who became the leader of her convent at the age of twenty. She had a vision in which Jesus encouraged her to receive the Eucharist often, out of love. She once brought the Eucharistic presence of Jesus to three sick Sisters, who were immediately cured.

“I an not alone, Sisters. See, I bring Jesus to bless you.”

National Aviation Day: Look up and wave at the planes!


SATURDAY August 13

TODAY’S MISSION: Bernard of Clairvaux said that the fields and forests taught him things about God that he could not learn from books. MISSION: Find a natural spot. Sit down and be very still for at least ten minutes. Report what nature teaches you about God.

Matthew 23:1–12
Jesus warns his disciples not to imitate the example of the Pharisees—but why?

St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153)
The Cistersian abbot and reformer, scholar, and theologian who counseled popes, healed a schism, and preached the Second Crusade; also, a Doctor of the Church.

“There are those who seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge; that is curiosity. There are those who seek knowledge to be known by others; that is vanity. There are those who seek knowledge in order to serve; that is love.”


Coming Up


World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation (September 1)

Jubilee for Workers and Volunteers of Mercy (September 2-4)

Canonization of Blessed Teresa of Kolkata (September 4)

Labor Day (September 6)


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.



Celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption with Kids
On the Feast of the Assumption, we celebrate not only the special dignity of the Blessed Mother, but also the dignity of our own bodies. Here’s a kid-friendly explanation, and some activity ideas.

St. Lawrence Coloring Sheet
This should have gone out in last week’s edition . . . our apologies for the inconvenience! His feast day is Wednesday, August 10.

St. Clare Coloring Sheet + Story
The feast day of St. Clare is Thursday, August 11.

Make Bedtime Sacred Story Time with Your Kids
Do you read religious bedtime stories to your kids? You can make those stories do double duty by weaving in practices from lectio divina, the ancient way of praying with sacred texts, Here’s how.

Leah’s Birth Story: “God Is All Over Body and Birth for Me
As I lay on the table, tears rolling down my face, I remember telling God I felt so defeated, but feeling a deep assurance that I wasn’t, that he wasn’t.   by Susan Windley-Daoust

Have You Shed Blood Yet? | Breaking Open the Word at Home
This Sunday’s readings are full of conflict and struggle—a reminder that far from being easy, doing the right thing often requires sacrifice.   by Jerry Windley-Daoust

5 Ways Children Can Help Grow Our Faith
As she gets older, my daughter has been calling my wife and I to holiness.  Here’s how children can call their parents to greater faith.   by Ryan Langr


STUMP THE PARENTS: The Sacrament of Matrimony

Have your kids look at the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (available online) #337-350, 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:

  • Why did God create marriage? (#338)
  • What are the purposes of marriage? (#339)
  • What is matrimonial consent? (#344)
  • What are the effects of the sacrament of matrimony? (#346)



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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