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Set Your Hand to the Plow | M:CEE

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Dear readers,

THE BREAD is giving way to MISSION: CHRISTIAN: EXTRA EDITION, a weekly e-mail newsletter especially designed to support families using our new MISSION: CHRISTIAN journals. Don’t worry—you’ll still find the best features of THE BREAD in this new product, in slightly different packaging. And beginning August 1, we’ll link to the journal pages online. As always, we welcome your feedback. Enjoy!

Jerry Windley-daoust
Jerry Windley-Daoust,

P.S. If you’d like to purchase the pilot volume of the MISSION: CHRISTIAN journal, you can still get it at gracewatch.media/mission.



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PB & Grace


Wisdom for the Mission

Pray with Sacred Art with Your Kids
The Church has long used sacred art to proclaim the Gospel, and even to help people to pray. Why not introduce your kids to the practice of praying with sacred art?

Play the Navigator Game to Teach Kids about Decisions and Consequences
Here’s a fun game that you can play with younger children and older kids to teach them about decisions and consequences . . . and how to find their way home.

Difficulty Conceiving: God Heals the Brokenhearted
Infertility and difficulty conceiving can be heartbreaking, as numerous women of the Bible attest. But one way or another, God wants to bring blessings to your marriage.   by Susan Windley-Daoust

Move Forward, Don’t Look Back | Breaking Open the Word at Home
Sunday’s readings remind us that we can’t just serve God when it’s convenient—we follow God all the time, in every circumstance.


Missions for June 26-July 2

Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time + Fortnight for Freedom + St. Ireneaus + Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul



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


SUNDAY, June 26

Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

FIRST READING 1 Kings 19:16b, 19-21

Then Elisha left and followed Elijah as his attendant.


You are my inheritance, O Lord.

SECOND READING Galatians 5: 1, 13-18

For you were called for freedom, brothers and sisters.

GOSPEL                Luke 9:51-62

“No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.”


Preview the Sunday readings with your kids, 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 June 27

Fortnight for Freedom

God’s Word

Matthew 8:18-22
“Follow me.” People often want to follow Jesus, but on their own terms. Lots of things can get in the way of us completely following Jesus. What do you make more important that God?


St. Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)
The man who fought heresies and championed the title of Mary as “God-bearer.”


Exchange fifteen minutes of your screen time (TV, phone, video games, etc.) to “follow Jesus” in prayer or by serving others.


TUESDAY, June 28

Feast of St. Irenaeus

Fortnight for Freedom

God’s Word

Matthew 8:23-27
“There was great calm.” Jesus calmed the storm when he and his friends were in the boat afraid. The first thing we always need to do when surrounded by chaos is remember that Jesus is in charge.


St. Irenaeus (130-220)
A bishop who used reason and gentle persuasion to help understand the truth that God’s creation is good, not evil.


Help someone to be calm today (maybe yourself, maybe someone else). (Pray to the Holy Spirit to show you someone to help.)



Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul

Fortnight for Freedom

God’s Word

Acts 12:1-11
“Get up quickly.” Jesus got Peter out of jail when he was going to be killed for sharing the Gospel. Jesus always stands with us when we are on the right side of things.


Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul (d. 64 & 67)
Jesus made Peter the leader of the apostles and the Church; he was the first pope. Paul traveled all over spreading the Gospel and starting churches; we still read his letters almost every Sunday during Mass. Both Peter and Paul were killed in Rome, which became the headquarters of the Church.


Find the name of a prisoner in your community or state. (Look in your local newspaper or online at your state Department of Corrections website.) Pray for that person throughout the day.



Fortnight for Freedom

God’s Word

Matthew 9:1-8
“He rose and went home.” Jesus healed a guy who couldn’t walk; but more importantly, he forgave his sins. How is being forgiven more important that being healed?


First Martyrs of the Church of Rome (d. 68)
Groups of Christians in Rome who were unjustly blamed and killed for a fire (probably started by the Emperor Nero) that destroyed a large part of the city. Peter and Paul might have been killed during this persecution.


Take responsibility for your actions today; don’t blame someone or something else.


FRIDAY, July 1

Fortnight for Freedom

God’s Word

Matthew 9:9-13
“Mercy, not sacrifice.” Jesus came to care for those who needed help and taught us not to judge those who need help. Sometimes it’s too easy to forget this and judge people who don’t have, or know, what we have or know.

Holy Mentor

Saint Junipero Serra (1713-1784)
He came to the New World from Spain to care for the Mexican and Native American people. He taught them about God, fought for their rights, and fed them.


When you are tempted to judge someone today, offer mercy instead. Pray right now for the Holy Spirit to “nudge” you when you have a chance to complete your mission!



Fortnight for Freedom

God’s Word

Matthew 9: 14-17
“New wine in new wineskins.” It’s easy to get stuck in old ideas about God. Jesus tells us to remember the truth that God offered us in old times, but to continue to hear God speaking to us in our own time.

Holy Mentor

St. Oliver Plunkett (1629-1681)
An Irish Archbishop, he had to do his ministry in hiding and disguises during a time of English persecution. He was killed after a 15-minute trial.


We don’t have to hide our faith these days, like St. Oliver did. But to honor the hiding that St. Oliver and other persecuted Christians have had to do, secretly practice a work of mercy for someone today.


STUMP THE PARENTS: The Sacrament of Confirmation

Have your kids look at the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (available online) #265–270, 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” at pbgrace.com.

Sample questions:

  • What place does Confirmation have in the divine plan of salvation? (#265)
  • Why is this sacrament called Chrismation or Confirmation? (#266)
  • What is the essential rite of Confirmation? (#267)
  • What is the effect of Confirmation? (#268)
  • Who can receive this sacrament? (#269)
  • Who is the minister of Confirmation? (#270)
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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