Use the following summaries and questions to help explain this month’s Gospels to your kids.
Sept. 1 – Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke 14:1,7-14: Jesus talks about a dinner, a party, wanting us to be prepared for the great feast that is God’s kingdom. Jesus gives advice about how to be a guest and how to be a host. As God’s guests in this world, we should act humbly, remembering that we are always in the presence of someone greater. As hosts of God’s people, we offer hospitality to those who cannot reward us. In the custom of his time and place, Jesus exaggerates to make a point. We do not have to leave out our friends and families. But neither should we leave out the poor and disabled.
- This passage is about God’s generosity — there’s enough for everyone. Who is the most generous person you know? How does this kind of generosity make you feel?
- What does this passage say about the way Jesus viewed the poor?
- When I serve others — do things for others — why do I do it? To get a reward? So others think good things about me?
- How can we be kind and include people who might be different than we are?
- How can you concretely show your care for the poor, the handicapped, the needy?
Sept. 8 – Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke 14: 25-33: Like any rabbi of the time, Jesus used exaggeration to capture the attention of the people. He wants to make clear that he must be the center of people’s lives. Jesus insists we can’t be his disciples unless he comes first; we can’t serve him part-time.
- Jesus tells us in this Gospel that we must carry our crosses; some things can be difficult (especially in being a follower of Jesus today). What are some things that are hard for you? How will you carry your cross this week?
- As you imagine yourself telling Jesus about your crosses, what is most difficult for you? Listen to what he says to you.
- What will you do this week to show that Jesus comes first in your life?
Sept. 15 – Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke 15:1-32 or 15:1-10: Jesus tells two lost-and-found parables (the lost sheep and the lost coin) to remind us how delighted God is when someone is welcomed home. In these parables it is obvious that God does not sit around waiting and hoping that the sinner will show up. God goes out like a shepherd seeking the one lost lamb, like a woman seeking the special coin.
- Why do you think Jesus told these stories?
- What do these stories tell you about forgiveness? Your forgiveness of others? God’s forgiveness of you?
- God celebrates — throws a party for us every time we are sorry. With your family, at dinner time, frequently pray prayers of sorrow and forgiveness.
- When we celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we pray the Act of the Contrition. With your family, write an Act of Sorrow in your own words.
- All of these parables remind us of our importance to God. God loves us as if we were the only person on earth. How does that make you feel? Write a pray of thanks.
Sept. 22 – Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke 16:1-13 or 16:10-13: Today’s Gospel is a parable about a dishonest steward; then Jesus gives two important messages. He says that if you can trust someone in little things, you can trust them in bigger things. Second, Jesus says that money should not be more important than God in our lives.
- Who do you know who is trustworthy in small matters?
- Talk with your family about the people you most admire. Why did you choose them? Do you admire them because of what they own or the amount of money they have? What makes them worthwhile?
- Money is necessary, but what do we do with it? How do we respect our possessions and other people’s possessions? When was the last time you shared with the poor? Do you waste things? Do you care for the earth and all its resources?
Sept. 29 – Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Luke 16:19-31: Last week Jesus reminded us about using money. This week Jesus tells a parable about a rich man who passes a beggar named Lazarus every day but gives him nothing. When they die, the beggar is rewarded, but the rich man suffers for neglecting the needs of those around him.
- What was the poor man’s name? What was the rich man’s name? Why do you think Jesus gave the poor man a name?
- Who are some people who are suffering today in our world?
- Are there other ways people can be “hungry” besides hungry for food?
- What good, kind or generous deed have you done lately?
- What do you find most difficult to share?
- Are there people who need your help? How do you do it?
- Sharing includes time and talents as well as things. How can you share your time and gifts with someone?
- What are some new ways your family or your parish could help the poor?