Throughout Scripture, God tells us that his place is with us—and ours is with God. Wherever we bring love, we bring God with us.
by Jen Schlameuss-Perry
In today’s first reading, the Paul and Barnabas “strengthened the spirits of the disciples and exhorted them to persevere in the faith,” and the communities were growing. They didn’t have it easy (they were being persecuted), but they kept on keeping on. The second reading continues John’s vision of heaven and we hear that “God’s dwelling is with the human race” and then echoes the Prophet Isaiah saying, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, for the old order has passed away.” God never wanted suffering for us, and it was always God’s plan that we would someday be free from it.
Jesus gave us that gift by dwelling with us as a human being and allowing us to follow him into heaven. In the Gospel, Jesus prepares the Apostles for his Ascension (which is coming in two weeks) by giving them a way to keep him with them—by loving one another as he loves us. When we love one another with selfless charity, we make Jesus present. It’s how people will know that we are his followers and will know him through us.
You can read this Sunday’s readings here:
Break Open the Word with Your Family
Who loves you the way Jesus loves people? What are some ways that they love you like Jesus does?
TV shows and movies sometimes have characters create a device that would wipe away bad memories or remove all evil things from the world. They are ALWAYS the bad guys—and if they aren’t they become so eventually. Why do you think that is? Getting rid of all that stuff in heaven is great—why wouldn’t it work here? What are the benefits of having difficulties in this life?
It is often our role to strengthen other people’s spirits and encourage them to persevere. Who does that for you? How do they do 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.”