Wednesday, July 22, 2015

7/26/15 Mass Mysteries: We're all so HUNGRY!

Welcome back to Mass Mysteries! In this weekly series, I breeze through the readings for Sunday Mass to help you and I prepare our minds so we can teach our children. I throw out whatever random knowledge or insights I may have so that you can be an instrument of catechesis for your children. If you know more than I, please comment below and add your own instruction for us all.

Mass Mysteries for the Littlest of the Littles
God performs miracles. In the miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, Jesus blessed 5 loaves of bread to feed 5000 people. Amazing! We are hungry for Jesus just as we were hungry for bread.

2 Kings 4:42-44
A man came from Baal-shalishah, bringing the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. And Elisha said, “Give to the men, that they may eat.” But his servant said, “How can I set this before a hundred men?” So he repeated, “Give them to the men, that they may eat, for thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and have some left.’” So he set it before them. And they ate and had some left, according to the word of the Lord.

Well, this story sure sounds familiar.

To begin, Elisha was a prophet--he is not the same person as Elijah. Instead, he was a follower of Elijah who took over when Elijah rode that flaming chariot into the sky.

In this passage, we see Elisha performing a very familiar miracle. He's blessing and multiplying bread thousands of years before Jesus. You see, Jesus was actually very retro.

These stories of bread can remind us of the hunger that all people have for a higher power. Throughout history, people have always searched for a god/God to help them find purpose in their lives. Even as the gods changed, the hunger remained. We have found God, or perhaps, God has found us. He has given us the Mass to feed that hunger.

Random factoid...Those genius bible organizers named the book 2 Kings because the story was too long for one scroll. It took two scrolls to complete the book, so it became 1 Kings and 2 Kings. This naming structure isn't as clever as Deathly Hallows and Goblet of Fire, but it is easier to remember.

Psalm 145:10-18
R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
Let all your works give you thanks, O LORD,
and let your faithful ones bless you.
Let them discourse of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might.
R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
The eyes of all look hopefully to you,
and you give them their food in due season;
you open your hand
and satisfy the desire of every living thing.
R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.
The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.
R. The hand of the Lord feeds us; he answers all our needs.

Generally the First Reading, Psalm, and Gospel are related. As you can see in this Psalm, the connection is easy to find! Since there is an easy connection this week, I'm going to encourage my kiddos to listen for that connection during Mass and discuss it afterwords. Hopefully Jake won't yell out, "FEED! He feeds us bread!"

Since the Psalm mentions NEEDS, this is a terrific opportunity to have a pesky needs vs. wants discussion. God gives us what we need, not everything we ask for. I may want an Escalade, but prayers won't make it appear on my driveway (well, I suppose it's possible, but I'm assuming that God has other plans).

Ephesians 4:1-6
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

During Ordinary Time, the Second Reading is not chosen because of it's connection to the other readings. Instead, we work our way through a book of the New Testament.

This is our third week in Ephesians, so after another reminder to the kiddos that we are reading a letter from Paul to the people of Ephesus, we will see what we can glean from this reading.

As I read this, I see so many attributes that I want my children to have: Humility, gentleness, patience, peace. Above all else, I want them to bear with one another in love.

If I can get my ducks in a row this week, I'm going to have Mady look over this reading and make a list of the things that we can do to bear with one another in love. Then, we'll follow up at dinner and share how we have soldiered through the struggles of the day with LOVE instead of anger, yelling, or thrown Legos. 

This is NOT loving...

If you missed it on facebook, Nick and I were posing for this which we were NOT in any danger of being bitten by the pelican. As I was calling to Mady to make sure that she got the picture, Jake actually DID get bitten by a pelican. Apparently, the feather he picked up off the ground belonged to one of the pelicans, and it didn't want to share. (Jake is fine...just a scratch and a funny story). BTW--I have a facebook page--you should join in on the fun over there!

John 6:1-15
After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?” Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!”
Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

This reading parallels so neatly with the First Reading. Elisha and Jesus perform such similar miracles with such confidence and clarity. They have no doubt that God can and will feed these people. We can all have the same confidence during Mass that Jesus is present in the bread on the altar and we can and will be fed. 

Believe it or not, my kiddos don't jump for joy at the chance to go to Mass each Sunday. In fact, Jake may even ask very politely to stay home or go to the playground instead. I'm sure he's shocked that I say 'no' each time.

I have to remember that we need to train our children, and ourselves, that we should hunger for the Mass just as we hunger for a double cheeseburger with bbq sauce and crispy strips of bacon on top...mmmm. We can encourage them to find the enjoyment and the peace that Mass can bring, even when, on the surface, it's not always fun.

Saint of the Week: Saint James
Saint James was a fisherman who walked away from a fishing career to follow Jesus and "Fish for Men.".. He, and his brother, John, were two of Jesus' first apostles. He is also called, "James, son of Zebedee," and "James the Greater."  The "Greater" reference probably meant that he was taller than the other James who hung out in that crowd. It could mean that he was better at foozball, who knows.

I know you can't tell, but I think they were fishing in this picture.
That's it for this week, good luck with the teaching and don't forget to print a Catholic Kids Bulletin to keep those little minds busy.

What I Wore Sunday
Linking up at Fine Linen and Purple with What I Wore Sunday. This week's outfit was bought at Rue 21...even though I'm too old to be shopping at the store!


Linking up at The Life of Jennifer Dawn, Giving Up on Perfect, Fluster Buster, Play, Party, Pin, and The NY Melrose Family, The Life of Jennifer Dawn, Giving Up on Perfect, Cornerstone ConfessionsRaising Homemakers, and Artful Homemaking.

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