19th Sunday in Ordinary Time, C Sunday Connection

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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.


Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C

Sunday, August 11, 2019


This Sunday's Readings


First Reading
Wisdom 18:6-9
The Hebrew people awaited the salvation of the just.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 33:1,12,18-22
Happy the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

Second Reading
Hebrews 11:1-2,8-19
We will look for the city designed and built by God.

Gospel Reading
Luke 12:32-48
You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.

Background on the Gospel Reading

Jesus' instructions on how to be ready for the coming judgment continue in the stories and sayings found in today's Gospel. We are not to be like the greedy rich man in last Sunday's Gospel who planned to store his great harvest in barns rather than share it. We are, rather, to share our wealth with those in need. The antidote for the anxiety brought on by the coming judgment is to relinquish our possessions and provide for the needs of others. Our treasure will be in heaven where it will not wear out or be destroyed.

The other major way to be ready for the coming judgment is to be watchful. In Luke's Gospel, Jesus tells a parable about watchfulness to begin making this point. We must be like servants waiting for the master's return from a wedding banquet, which, even now, can last for a few days in the Middle East. We must be watchful so that even if the master comes after midnight, we will be ready for him. This is what the coming of the Son of Man will be like.

Peter asks if this parable is meant for the apostles or for the large crowd that has gathered to listen to Jesus. Without answering Peter's question, Jesus responds with another parable about servants awaiting the return of their master. It begins with a question: “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute the food allowance at the proper time?” This parable adds to the theme of watchfulness; it explains how to wait and reminds us of the reward for the faithful follower at the heavenly banquet after the judgment. If it is addressed to the apostles, then it could also be addressed to leadership in the early Church. Either way, the parables reminds us that we should be found doing our jobs when the master arrives. If we are doing our jobs, our reward will be great. But if we relax, neglect our duties, and begin to act like the greedy rich man—eating, drinking, and making merry—we will not have a place in the kingdom. Watchfulness means living in such a consistently moral and obedient way that we are always ready to give an account to God of how we have lived.


Gospel Reading
Luke 12:32-48
You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.


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

Younger children are able to pay attention for increasing periods of time. In the parable of the Vigilant and Faithful Servants, Jesus challenges us to be alert disciples.

Materials Needed

  • none

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Play a few rounds of Simon Says, telling children to be alert, or pay attention, as you give instructions. 
  2. Ask: Why do we need to be alert when we play this game? (so that we don’t miss any instructions; so that we know when to do the action and when not to) 
  3. Say: In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus tells us that we need to be alert disciples. Let’s pay attention to learn what we need to be alert for.
  4. Read Luke 12:32–48.
  5. Say: Jesus wants us to be alert for his return. Jesus has saved us, but we should not just sit back and do nothing. He teaches us that we should pay attention to others and notice how we can help them. That way, when Jesus returns, he will find us acting as his loving disciples. Let’s all plan to pay special attention to how we can help our family and friends today.
  6. Conclude by praying together the Our Father.


Gospel Reading
Luke 12:32-48
You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.


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

Children at this age are keenly aware of being included or excluded from peer groups. In the Parable of the Vigilant and Faithful Servants, those who are alert and vigilant will continue to be included in the master's favor.

Materials Needed

  • None

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Ask the children to think of a time that they slept through an important event, such as the end of a movie or TV show, an important world event, or an important part of a lesson in school.

  2. Give an example from your own life of a time that you slept through some event of significance, whether a world event or something going on at home, work, or school.

  3. Invite a few volunteers to share their examples.

  4. Talk about how, if something is very important to us, we try very hard to stay awake, to remain alert.

  5. Say: In this Sunday's Gospel, Jesus tells us that it is very important for us to be alert. Let's see if you can figure out what Jesus wants us to be alert for.

  6. Invite volunteers to read aloud Luke 12:32-48.

  7. Ask volunteers to summarize the parable in their own words.

  8. Ask: What does Jesus want us to be alert for? (his coming, his return)

  9. Explain: Some people think that, since Jesus has saved us, all we have to do is sit back and wait until we go to heaven. Jesus is teaching us that he saved us so that we can love one another the way he loved us—selflessly. Jesus wants us to be alert to the needs of others so that when he returns, he will find us acting like true disciples. Let's pray that we will be alert to the needs of those around us so that when Jesus returns, he will find us loving one another with selfless love.

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


Gospel Reading
Luke 12:32-48
You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.


Making the Connection (Grades 7 and 8)

Young people at this age are capable of a variety of services but must be challenged to be more generous with their time. In the Parable of the Vigilant and Faithful Servants, Jesus challenges us to be more vigilant and alert about our responsibilities as his disciples.

Materials Needed

  • Paper and pens/pencils

Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings

  1. Talk about how businesses and organizations develop long-range plans for what they hope to achieve in the years to come.

  2. Direct the students to put together a long-range plan for themselves, describing in a few words or brief sentences where they hope to be in 5 years, 10 years, and 20 years.

  3. Invite volunteers to share their thoughts with the group and talk about how important it is for us to have hope if we want to achieve our goals.

  4. Explain that planning is a way of remaining watchful and alert. Say: People who plan are much less likely to be taken by surprise. One of the greatest basketball players of all time, Michael Jordan, responded to criticisms that many of his shots were “lucky” by saying that chance or luck favors those who are best prepared. In today's Gospel, Jesus talks about how important it is for us to be watchful and alert.

  5. Invite volunteers to read aloud Luke 12:32-48.

  6. Tell the students that it seems like Jesus is contradicting himself. Say: Last Sunday, Jesus told us that the rich man who planned to build large barns to store his great harvest was foolish. This Sunday, however, he is telling us to be prepared, to be watchful, and to have a plan. What was the problem with the rich man's plan in last Sunday's Gospel? (His plan was selfish; he planned only to take care of himself; he planned to eat, drink, and be merry.)

  7. In today's Gospel, Jesus is telling us that we should be found doing our job. What is our job as disciples of Jesus? (to serve others, to love one another, to proclaim the Good News)

  8. Let's pray that we will have the grace to be alert and watchful and that we will have a plan that helps us to be good disciples of Jesus.

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


Gospel Reading
Luke 12:32-48
You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.


Family Connection

Years ago, most families had only one or two clocks in their home. Today, we have clocks everywhere—on our walls, on our microwave ovens, on our DVD players, on our cell phones, and so on. As a family, go through the house and count how many clocks (time-telling devices) your family has. Talk about important events for which family members need to be on time. Recall experiences of being late for something, either as individuals or as a family. Explain that in this Sunday's Gospel, Jesus talks about how important it is for us to be aware and alert, otherwise, we will miss something.

Read aloud Luke 12:32-48. Talk about the parable that Jesus told and discuss how the master will feel if he arrives to find his servant doing his job. Discuss what our job is as disciples of Jesus. Explain that, just as we need to be aware of the time so that we don't miss anything important, we also need to be alert and focused on our jobs, our responsibilities as followers of Jesus.

Encourage each family member to place a sacred symbol near the clock that they use most in the house and to use the symbol and the clock as a reminder that it is always “time” for us to be acting like disciples of Christ.