Welcome to the Fourth week of Ordinary time. I happen to think that some very extraordinary things happen in ordinary time if you pay attention. Miracles are abundant in ordinary time in the liturgical calendar readings and in our own ordinary days of our lives. We should look with wonder and excitement as we do all the special days and seasons. May our hearts not be hardened but open to the grace of every new day and miracle.
May GOD give us the grace to stay close to him and open to HIS miracles all around us. Harden not our hearts.
For Families with kids in K-4th grade: This week we look at how Jesus lead by serving others and even performing miracles! We know and can trust in the authority of Jesus !
For families with children in grades 5-7: This week we learn about Jesus's authority. What does "Authority" mean? According to the dictionary authority means," the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience." This week Jesus commands evil spirits to leave a person. The evil spirits recognize Jesus as a authority and obey. It sounds like a scary story but it should give us comfort knowing that nothing is impossible for God!
God is stronger than evil. The video below helps us learn a great way to read scripture and pray with God's word. He gives us all the help we will ever need if we know how to look and listen. Help us to be more than amazed by God but to trust fully in HIS plans for us.
For Families with Youth in grades 8-12:
This week 's Gospel continues with the call of the first disciples. John the Baptist had been put in prison. Jesus begins his public preaching and the first disciples start to follow him. They become hooked on Jesus. They leave their safe and secure lives to follow Jesus. They trust and they follow. Talk about change! Their lives will never be the same. What does Jesus ask us to do to follow Jesus? Are we willing to trust and follow?
For this week's musical reflection and prayer. Answer this question as if Jesus was singing to your heart.
For Families with kids in grade k-4: This week we will think about what it means to follow Jesus. People who follow Jesus are called "disciples". What do you do to follow Jesus? How would someone know that you are friends with Jesus?
Brainstorm ways you can follow Jesus and make a craft to remind you and others!
For Families with kids in grades 5- 7: This week we focus on the first disciples ( in the past) and the disciples of the present. What does it mean to follow Jesus?
Imagine getting the Jesus Memo ( or text) It gives us things to think about.
For Families with YOUTH in grades 8-12: This week is all about who you follow? If Jesus was on Instagram would you follow him? Would you read his Tweets? Would you friend him on Facebook? Are you a disciple of JESUS? Do you follow him?
Let's start this with a little humor........
Let our prayer be to follow Jesus and to encourage one another when we are struggling to keep the faith and stay close to HIM.
This week there is so much to unpack in the scriptures. The first reading is when the Lord called Samuel while he was sleeping. At first he thought it was the prophet Eli calling him but he came to realize it was the Lord and his response was “ Speak Lord, your servant is listening.”.How many times to we not recognize when God is trying to get our attention.
Have you ever spent time talking to God and it seems like sometimes our prayers can ramble on? How much time do we spend time listening for God’s response?Maybe a good practice this week is to spend more time listening to what God wants to speak to our hearts.
The Gospel asks us the question....What are we searching for? Who are we searching for? Are we looking for Jesus or have we gotten distracted?
You can find Mass at our local Catholic Church ... St Francis Xavier at Mass ( www.sfxnewmilford.org) and online Masses ortv on Sunday at 10:00am and various other online Masses Youtube Fr. Mike Schmitz at 10:00am on Sunday.
For families with children in grades k-4:
:For Families with you grades 5-7:
For Families with youth in grades 8-12:
Welcome to the week of Reflection on the Baptism of the Lord. While we think about the significance of this event, try to think about your own baptism, many of us were infants but some are older. This very personal day should be remembered as our spiritual birthday. Look up when you were baptized,if you don’t know the date. Put it in your calendar as a day to be celebrated. This very day begins our journey of faith and we receive the first infusion of the Holy Spirit. It leaves an indelible mark on our very soul.
Did you ever wonder why it was important for God’s son to be Baptized?
Here is one more short reflection on the importance of this day... the reflection was made for 2019 but the message is timeless. Following the reflection, I invite you to renuew your own baptismal vows with your family. I can’t think of a better way to start the new year.
Now gather everyone in your household to renew their Baptismal vows and sincerely begin a new year.
For families with children in grades K-4:
This week we remember the day that JESUS was baptized? Do you remember your baptism? ( Probably not because you might have been very young) Do you know what the date was when you were baptized? Ask your parents. Do you know who are your Godparents?
Some of you may not have attended a baptism of someone else yet. Here is a baby being baptized and the Priest explains everything that is happening.
A fun way to learn for me, has always been thru music. Here is a song someone made about the Sacrament of Baptism.
For families with children in grades 5-7:
This week our focus is on when JESUS was Baptized. We also think about the importance of the very first Sacrament we are invited to receive. Do you know the date of your Baptism? Ask your parents to look it up. Ask your parents why they brought you to be baptized? This is also a good time to reflect on the promises made and to renew those promises.
Even today people visit the Jordan River where JESUS was baptized. The link below gives you a visual tour of this Holy place.
Next we have the opportunity to learn more about the catholic tradition of Baptizing children and renewing our vows to God.
For Families with YOUTH in grades 8-12:
This week we celebrate Jesus’s Baptism and reflect on our own baptism and what that means? Do you know the date of your Baptism? Ask your parents if you don’t know. What if you celebrated that day like you do your birthday?
No doubt 2020 was not the easiest year we have had in history. How are you doing.... for real? It’s okay not to be ok. Lean on your family and friends. Lean on the LORD. If nothing else has been been learned is that God is the constant. God has the answers. God is the stability in unstable situations. He does not change and he is close to us. He is not socially distant. I pray that if today finds you struggling that you reach out to God and accept the help he offers... it may come in unexpected ways thru direct insight, people, situations that pop up and thoughts. Pray for the openness of heart to receive the always timely help. Here is a video from Fr. Mike Schmitz that may trigger answers to doubts about the changes we all have been facing.