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.


Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A

Sunday, February 26, 2017


This Sunday's Readings


First Reading
Isaiah 49:14–15
Can a mother forget her infant? Even should she forget, I will never forget you

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 62:2–3,6–9
Only in God be at rest, my soul.

Second Reading
1 Corinthians 4:1–5
The Lord will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and manifest the intentions of the heart.

Gospel Reading
Matthew 6:24–34
Enough, then, of worrying about tomorrow. Let tomorrow take care of itself.

Background on the Gospel Reading

Today’s Gospel reading is from part three of the Sermon on the Mount’s three-part instruction by Jesus on the way of life in the Kingdom of Heaven. Part three deals with trusting God and performing deeds of loving service to our neighbor. 

The Aramaic word mammon does not have a negative connotation. It means “property” or “money.” What Matthew is pointing out is that since human beings are not self-sufficient, we are dependent on something outside ourselves. It should be God, not the material goods we own. This is not to say that we don’t need material goods. But the reading goes on to remind us not to be anxious. Look at the beauty of nature. The birds do not sow or reap. The flowers do not work or spin cloth. Yet they are provided for by God. Human beings are worth much more than these. How could God not provide for us as well? If what we place first in our lives is God’s kingdom and his justice, we will have what we need.

Matthew concludes by reminding us to address each day’s problems as they come, confident that we are in God’s loving care. He is a loving father who holds the whole world in his hands. He will certainly care for us.


Gospel Reading
Matthew 6:24–34
Enough, then, of worrying about tomorrow. Let tomorrow take care of itself.


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

Children at this age have had experiences of taking care of something—a younger sibling, a pet, or a plant, for example. Use their experiences to build a greater understanding of how God cares for us

Materials Needed

  • Drawing paper and crayons

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Ask the children to think of something that they have taken care of and to draw a picture of themselves caring for it.

  2. Invite volunteers to share their work and to explain what caring for this person or object involved. Ask: What could happen if you did not act responsibly? (The plant would die; the pet could get lost; the sibling could get hurt.)

  3. Explain how God cares for all of us.

  4. Read aloud this Sunday’s Gospel, Matthew 6:24–34.

  5. Say: In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus tells us to look at how the birds and flowers are cared for. He reminds us that if God cares so much for the birds and the flowers, we can be sure that God will care for us even more. God knows what we need and provides for us.

  6. Share a personal story of a time when you experienced God’s care. Then invite volunteers to share stories of their own.

  7. Lead the children in quiet prayer, inviting them to use their own words to thank Jesus for taking care of them and all living creatures. Close by singing "Alleluia."


Gospel Reading
Matthew 6:24–34
Enough, then, of worrying about tomorrow. Let tomorrow take care of itself.


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

Children at this age understand what it means to be trustworthy. They have experienced both putting trust in another and being worthy of another’s trust. Use these experiences to highlight how we are called to trust in God.

Materials Needed

  • Two blindfolds

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Explain to the children what a trust walk is based on the activity below.

  2. Ask for four volunteers and divide them into two pairs. Allow each pair to decide who will be blindfolded and who will be the guide.

  3. One at a time, instruct the guides to lead their partners silently around the classroom, stopping on three different occasions to encourage their partners to experience things such as sitting carefully in a chair, opening or closing a door, or touching the textured surface of a pillow or toy.

  4. Remind the class to be silent as each pair takes their trust walk. Invite them to observe how the guides show their trustworthiness and how the blindfolded children grow more comfortable with their guides.

  5. When the trust walk is finished, ask the blindfolded children: Why was it important to trust your guide? (So they wouldn’t get hurt.) Ask the guides: What was it like to be responsible for your partner? (Answers will vary.)

  6. Invite volunteers to read aloud this Sunday’s Gospel, Matthew 6:24–34.

  7. Explain that Jesus wants his disciples both then and now to know that we can trust God to provide for our needs. Say: In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples to look at the birds in the sky and the flowers in the fields. God takes care of them and will care for us even more. We can always trust God to care for us. Even when we can’t see the way ahead, God is there to guide us.

  8. Lead the children in quiet prayer, inviting them to use their own words to thank God for caring for them. Close by singing "Alleluia."


Gospel Reading
Matthew 6:24–34
Enough, then, of worrying about tomorrow. Let tomorrow take care of itself.


Making the Connection (Grades 7 and 8)

Young people at this age can relate to worrying. They worry about things such as grades, their appearance, and being popular. Use their experience of worrying to highlight the ways that God provides for us.

Materials Needed

  • Writing paper and pencils

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Arrange young people into groups of four or five. Instruct each small group to make a list of five things that people their age worry about.

  2. Invite one person from each group to read aloud their group’s list. Write the results on the board, marking the frequency with which any worries are repeated.

  3. Ask the young people to identify those worries that they can do something about (their grades), and those they can do nothing about (their height or bone structure).

  4. Invite volunteers to read aloud this Sunday’s Gospel, Matthew 6:24–34.

  5. Explain how Jesus wanted his disciples both then and now to understand how much God loves them and cares for them. Share a personal story about a time when you experienced God’s care for you.

  6. Invite the young people to reflect on those worries they can do nothing about. Say: In this Sunday’s Gospel, what did Jesus want his disciples to do instead of spending time worrying? (“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.”)

  7. Engage the young people in a discussion about how people their age can turn worry into trust in God’s care for them.
  8.  Lead the young people in quiet prayer, inviting them to share their worries with Jesus. Encourage them to ask the Holy Spirit for help to trust in God’s care for them.


Gospel Reading
Matthew 6:24–34
Enough, then, of worrying about tomorrow. Let tomorrow take care of itself.


Family Connection

In our families we learn about caring. We learn to care for our own needs and the needs of others, and we learn to take responsibility for the needs of our household. Sometimes caring for these needs means that we are unable to do other things that we would enjoy more. At times, we can be tempted not to take responsibility for what we are given to care for.

Talk about the different ways your family cares for one another and the needs of your household. Remember times when you’ve been tempted to put your own needs ahead of others. Talk about the personal and familial consequences of making that choice.

Point out how God cares for us every day and will never forget us. Read aloud this Sunday’s Gospel, Matthew 6:24–34. Talk about how God looks after the birds in the sky and the flowers in the field. Point out how Jesus reminds his disciples that they are worth much more than these things. Take turns sharing times in which you have experienced God’s care for yourself and your family. Conclude this time together by offering one another a sign of peace.