Sunday Connection

Sunday Connection

Sunday Connection

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. The Sunday Connection provides useful background and activities to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings, helping you to connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.


Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Sunday, August 28, 2016


This Sunday's Readings


First Reading
Sirach 3:17-18,20,28-29
Humble yourself and you will find favor with God

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 68:4-7,10-11
The just rejoice and exult before God.

Second Reading
Hebrews 12:18-19,22-24
You have approached Mount Zion and the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.

Gospel Reading
Luke 14:1,7-14
When you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.

Background on the Gospel Reading

Meals played an important role in the society in which Jesus lived. More than a time for sharing nourishment, they were a time to share ideas and to model different aspects of social relationships. In Luke's Gospel, the places that a person ate (at the home of a tax collector, 5:29), the people with whom a person ate (sinners, 5:30), whether a person washed before eating (11:38), and, as is the case here, the place that a person sits while eating are all important. The narrator says Jesus tells a parable, but it is really wise advice to both guests and hosts about finding true happiness at the heavenly banquet.

Jesus warns guests to wait before taking their places at the table lest they be asked to move if someone more important arrives. This is more than just a lesson about dinner etiquette. It is advice on how to find your true place in the Kingdom of God. Jesus advises hosts not to invite people who would be expected to repay them to dinner but to invite those who could not repay: the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. This is where real blessings can be found.

In these sayings, Luke gives us not only advice on how to approach the end times but also on how to live according to Jesus' vision of a good society. Luke's Gospel also advises us how the Church must be part of bringing about this society. It is yet another example in Luke's Gospel of the reversal the kingdom brings about.


Gospel Reading
Luke 14:1,7-14
When you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.


Making the Connection (Grades 1, 2, and 3)

Jesus instructed the people to care for the poor and expect no payment from the poor in return. God will reward those who do so for their goodness. He said to humble ourselves instead of putting ourselves above others.

Materials Needed

  • A matchbox
  • Two pennies

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Bring a matchbox and two pennies to class.

  2. Before the children arrive, open the matchbox and hide one penny between the lid and the upper edge of the inside box.

  3. Say: There are many people who are in need of our help. Some need food, some need clothing, some need jobs, and some need money to buy things until they can find a job. Jesus tells us in the Gospel this week that we should give to the poor all that we can—even though they can't pay us back.

  4. Place a penny into the matchbox and close the box.

  5. Read aloud Luke 14:1,7-14.

  6. Say: In this Gospel, Jesus tells us to give to others even though they cannot pay us back, but he promises that God will see what we do and will reward us.

  7. Open the matchbox to reveal two pennies instead of just one.

  8. Ask: What kind of reward do we receive for giving to others? (a sense of happiness for doing the right thing, a closer relationship with God, eternal life with God)

  9. Say: We usually think of being rich as meaning that you have a lot of money. Jesus teaches us, however, that we can find reward in a very different way by being rich in grace—God's life in us.

  10. Tell the children that when we pray the Our Father and ask for “our daily bread,” we are asking for all that we need in order to be rich in God's eyes.

  11. Conclude by praying aloud the Our Father.


Gospel Reading
Luke 14:1,7-14
When you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.


Making the Connection (Grades 4, 5, and 6)

Children at this age have wonderful and active imaginations. Jesus used parables to stimulate our imaginations and to envision reality in a whole new way. This Sunday's Gospel challenges readers to imagine what the Kingdom of God is like and who is invited to enter it.

Materials Needed

  • None

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Ask the children to think of fairy tales, fables, or myths that have a king, queen, prince, princess, or a castle in them. (such as King Midas, Cinderella, King Arthur, and the Frog Prince)

  2. Relate the fact that numerous stories such as these contain references to royalty and that the concept of a kingdom was a way of getting the readers to imagine a place different from their own.

  3. Explain that Jesus used parables to challenge people to think about a different kind of kingdom—the Kingdom of God.

  4. Say: In this Sunday's Gospel, Jesus tells a parable that describes who is invited to the Kingdom of God.

  5. Invite volunteers to read aloud Luke 14:1,7-14

  6. Explain that the word kingdom refers not just to a geographical place but to the fact that all who live in that place are to follow the will of the reigning king or queen. Say: In the Kingdom of God, we are to follow the will of God. According to this parable, what kind of people are invited to the Kingdom of God? (those who are humble, those who do good to others without expecting repayment)

  7. Remind the children that in the Lord's Prayer, we pray “thy kingdom come, thy will be done.”

  8. Conclude by praying aloud the Lord's Prayer.


Gospel Reading
Luke 14:1,7-14
When you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.


Making the Connection (Grades 7 and 8)

Young people are capable of abstract and logical thinking. Jesus' parables about the kingdom challenge us to see reality in a whole new way. This Sunday's Gospel challenges the young people to grapple with the concept of the kingdom and who is invited to enter into it.

Materials Needed

  • None

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Invite the students to imagine that they are each receiving enough money to do a complete redecorating of their rooms.

  2. Ask them each to draw a picture or make a list of the changes that they would undertake in their room if given the money to do so.

  3. When finished, invite volunteers to share their ideas.

  4. Tell the students that they just engaged in an exercise of using their imaginations.

  5. Explain that to use imagination is to focus on possibilities.

     

  6. Say: People with great imaginations are not out of touch with reality; they see possibilities beyond the existing reality. Jesus often used parables to teach about the Kingdom of God, inviting us to use our imaginations to see people, life, and the world in new ways. Let's listen to the parable that Jesus teaches in this Sunday's Gospel to see how Jesus is challenging us to see differently.

  7. Read aloud Luke 14:1,7-14.

  8. Ask the students to describe how this parable challenges us to see differently. (We are challenged to be humble; we are challenged to give without expecting a reward.)

  9. Remind the students that in the Lord's Prayer, we pray “thy kingdom come, thy will be done.” Say: Whenever we pray these words, we are asking God to help us to live according to his will—being humble and giving without expecting repayment.

  10. Conclude by praying aloud the Lord's Prayer.


Gospel Reading
Luke 14:1,7-14
When you hold a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind.


Family Connection

Parents and children often enter into “negotiations” over how much allowance is to be earned at certain ages. Typically, when a child seeks an increase in allowance, parents will attach an increase in chores and responsibilities for them to better earn the increase. Talk about what kind of allowance you received as a child and what kind of responsibilities your parents expected of you to earn your allowance.

Explain that in this Sunday's Gospel, Jesus talks about doing good deeds for others and expecting nothing in return. Read aloud Luke 14:1,7-14. Ask your children how they would feel if you told them to take on more chores without ever expecting another raise in allowance. Emphasize that Jesus teaches us that it is our duty as his followers to take care of the needs of others and to do so without expecting repayment. Discuss what other types of rewards we can find when doing good things for others.

Point out that we sometimes fall into the trap of wanting too many things and that, in the Our Father, we pray for “our daily bread,” meaning that we pray for only that which we really need in life. Conclude this time together by praying aloud the Our Father.