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September 3, 2023 – 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Our Great Journey

Our theme for this week is “Come and Follow Me,”  based on Matthew 16:21-27,   Mateo 16:21-27

Opening Prayer:

If you haven’t yet, set up your family prayer table. Use a green cloth or scarf for ordinary time. Have a Bible, crucifix, battery candle, rosary and any other special items you’d like to add. Throughout the year we will be adding symbols to the prayer table.

Lord, our God, just as the rain comes down to water the earth and make it fruitful, so you send forth your word to do your will in the world. May this wisdom from heaven take root in our hearts and bear fruit in hold words and loving actions and choices. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

In addition to our prayers from the heart, our prayer for September is the Hail Mary. It’s a good opportunity to explain what we are praying in this prayer. The first part of the prayer is Elizabeth’s greeting to Mary when Mary visited her while they were both pregnant. The Church added the second part of the prayer. (When my son was little, he prayed Blessed is the fruit in your room! It’s always amazing what kids think.) Please pray this prayer daily to learn.

Using the Bible, invite a family member to read the Gospel aloud.

Things to talk about:

  • What do you think the apostles thought when Jesus told them that he was going to suffer, die, and be raised from the dead?
  • Jesus told Peter he was an obstacle to him. Why do you think he said that? 
  • What does it mean for us when Jesus says, that everyone has to “take up his cross”?

Things to do:

  • In this Gospel, Jesus predicted his suffering and death. The Stations of the Cross show how Jesus suffered and died in the last moments of his earthly life. Find the stations in our church. How many stations are there?
  • As a family create a poster or video commercial advertising for Disciples of Jesus. Think of qualities of the kind of people you are looking for and write a description of the requirements.

Close with Prayer

Emmaus Prayer (adapted)

Lord, as we walk down the journey of life, we ask that you would be our constant companion, especially on those days when we are disheartened or when we have strayed off your path. When we are downcast, we ask that you lift our spirits. When we are confused, we ask that you enlighten our minds. When we are disappointed, we ask that you give us hope.

Name anyone who needs prayer, reply, “Lord, hear our prayers.”  Close with the Sign of the Cross.     

Catholic Insights

In last week’s Gospel, Jesus calls Simon Peter the “rock” upon which his Church would be built on. But in today’s Gospel, we hear about the limitations of Peter’s faith.

Jesus confides in his disciples that at the end of his ministry, he must suffer, die, and rise again for the good of his people. Alarmed and frightened, Peter speaks out in rejection of Jesus’ words: “God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you.”

Jesus reprimands Peter and says that to reject such an outcome is to no longer think like God but like man. It’s here that Jesus teaches the disciples two lessons. The first clarifies their understanding of Jesus as the Messiah. Rather than the political leader they likely envisioned, Jesus is the suffering servant.

The second lesson teaches about the difficult path to discipleship. Just as Jesus makes sacrifices to serve, his disciples are expected to do the same. Being a disciple means we will be living a life of love, compassion and joy. Sometimes living this life is counter-cultural. Everyday we have opportunities to give our time, talents and treasure, and sometimes this is not as easy as donating money to church or charities or racking up service hours. Jesus is telling us there is a price to pay when we follow him. But we also know God is in control, not us. Sometimes it’s hard to surrender control and trust in God’s providence… but that’s what true disciples do. Amen.

Song for this week: Come and Follow Me

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