This week's Gospel is really about truth. Some people seem to say one thing but do another. Some people say they follow Jesus but don't and then some people admit they aren't sure or they aren't worthy and actually do follow Jesus.
Which one are you?
For Children: Here is another get up and Dance Challenge! Worship and Praise is fun.... make your words and actions match! We would love to receive videos of kids participating .... try it and see how it lifts your spirits!
This week's question: Who are you when no one is looking?
Do you say you are a follower of Christ, but when it comes down to actually doing what Jesus would do...how do you choose? It's not always easy. Stay on the path that leads to Christ. Keep doing good things even during the pandemic. Be creative, find ways to help others safely. Please mask up... Jesus most certainly would wear a mask if it would help other people and stop a sickness.
Watch the skit below..... Do you keep God in a Box?
This week's Gospel is packed with more instances of God's love for us as grace. We don't earn it, but we are all welcome to His unfailing grace. Jesus tells the story of the worker's in the vineyard and how there were discrepancies in who did what, and how much compensation was owed by the land owner. The people that were there first thought they were owed the most and the people that were there last were given the same amount. It reminds me of the prodical son in how the loyal son was jealous of the Father's generosity to the son that left and wasted his money. I think it comes down to we are not the judge of who is worthy or not of anything that comes from God. All are welcome to God's love and grace. Thank goodness he does not only call those who "feel worthy".
A prayer that has helped me refocus my thoughts and prayers is the Litany of Humility. It hits me in the heart and maybe it will mean something to you as well.
Another important theme this weekend is..... Catechetical Sunday!!!! We are finally starting our classes in person and at home. This ministry to our families CAN NOT be done without the very large group of parents and other special people that have volunteered their time , talent and treasure to help our young people grow in faith!! We are so thankful for each and every volunteer catechist!! We have always been super blessed with parishioner's generosity in volunteering. This year despite the challenges of moving forward in a new and different way.....we really can't say thank you enough for returning or stepping up to be part of our team. St. Francis Xavier parishioners always come through to help in Faith Formation. God Bless you and your families! Thank you for being workers in the vineyard!!
Kids and families who are in person classes.... please make it a goal to find a special way to thank your Catechist! You can write a letter, make a gift, or whatever your heart tells you but make the effort to say , “ Thank you”. Your children are so loved by our volunteers and they do it because of their love and light that comes from God! Please pray for your Catechist as well... the best gift ever!!
For Parents... an object lesson on Fairness
For older youth:
This week's theme is packed with opportunity! We have the Gospel that reminds us that God is generous and we need to be more merciful and kind. The theme of forgiveness is emphasized when Peter asks Jesus ,"Lord, if my brother sins against me,how often must I forgive? As many as seven times?" Jesus answers," I say to you, not seven times but seventy -seven times."
We also have so many families sending their kids back to school in one way or another.
Here is a prayer that parents can pray over their children's backpack.
Bless this backpack and my child who carries it as they begin a new school year. Help them discover and develop the gifts you have given them. Allow them to be the best student they can be,reaching out to others and setting good examples to all they meet. Help them to be peacemakers and always kind.
As they carry these backpacks may they be reminded of your love and care that surrounds them each school day whether they are at home or in person.
Give them confidence when they are anxious,and encourage them when they are tired.
Help them to be patient with themselves and others as they learn to do some things differently this year.
We pray for all the teachers,parents and school staff members as they help guide our children in faithfulness to you.
Knowing that making transitions and starting new beginnings can sometimes be challenging...here is a song to remember that God's Grace is ENOUGH
FAMILY CHALLENGE :
Start a family prayer journal. Write your first prayer together. Let everyone contribute to the words and intentions. Always remember to thank God for all the ways he has blessed them.
For Children k-5:
ANOTHER FAMILY CHALLENGE!
Tired of sitting down ....... get up and dance...here is a song/dance that is very easy to learn. Send me a video of your family learning this song/dance and I will post.
FOR YOUTH: Grades 6-12
Sometimes Forgiving is hard....have you ever thought about the effects UNFORGIVENESS has on you.
This week's Mass readings themes are loving and forgiving. The Second reading is from Romans 13: 8-10 and the Gospel is from Matthew 18:15-20.
Love your neighbor as yourself is the bottom line in the second reading. The Gospel challenges us to reconcile our differences with one another . These are such important messages yesterday and especially today.
Enjoy the musical meditation below by Brother Isaiah.
For the kids ( and adults to pray together):
Now that we are approaching the beginning of a new year in Faith Formation..... a great way for us all to stay grounded especially during a challenging period in history is to start good routines. The best routine we can give our families is one with prayer. We can also teach our kids to get in the habit of praying independently.
Check out the idea for helping prompt this routine by clicking on the link from Catholic Icing.