Monday, August 3, 2015

8/9/15 Mass Mysteries: God is handing out MORE free food!

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
Jesus is called the Bread of Life. At Mass, the bread that we eat is Jesus!

1 Kings 19:4-8

But Elijah went a day's journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.


In the past few weeks, we've heard from numerous prophets. Jeremiah, Amos, Ezekiel, and Elisha. This passage jumps into the middle of a story about perhaps the most well known prophet in the Old Testament...Elijah. 

If you read the chapter before this passage, this story becomes more clear. Elijah was arguing with the prophets of Baal (pagan god). Elijah made a bet with those prophets. They would both build altars, prepare a sacrifice, and ask their god/God to start the fire. After watching the effort of Baal's prophets, he made fun of them! (There is even some potty humor in 1 Kings 18:27, if you're kids would enjoy that. Mine wouldn't laugh at that, of course. They are WAY too classy.)

After Elijah finished his mocking, he proved that his God is real and powerful by building an altar, covering it with water, and asking God to burn the sacrifice. Of course, the big guy came through and burned it all to ash.

I will definitely gloss over this next part when discussing with the littles. After proving his point, Elijah killed all those prophets. Hmmm.

After this event, Elijah found out that the Israelites, God's chosen people, were still worshipping Baal instead of turning to God. The people who should be respecting Elijah now hated him and wanted him to be killed for his actions!   

This bring us to the actual passage for today. Elijah sat under a broom tree and gave up. An Angel of God came to his rescue by giving him food and water. God gave him the literal bread of life, and the strength to continue on his mission.   

Psalm 34

R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.

R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Glorify the LORD with me,
Let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
And delivered me from all my fears.

R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy.
And your faces may not blush with shame.
When the afflicted man called out, the LORD heard,
And from all his distress he saved him.

R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.

R. Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.


All this talk of food is making me hungry!

This Psalm connects to the food them, and even mentions an Angel of the Lord coming to help those in need. Love it!

The vagueness of a phrase like, "Taste and see the goodness of the Lord," may be difficult for kiddos to understand. We don't usually taste the goodness of people. We taste the goodness of s'mores. However, we can talk about our feelings when we taste something good. It makes me full happy, smiley, content, full, etc. These same feelings are achieved by reveling in the goodness of God. 

Ephesians 4:30-5:2

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.


I don't know if you're counting, but I think we're at week 5 of Ephesians. Once again, Paul gives concrete directions on how to show love to others. We should be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving. 

Mady has moments of tenderhearted kindness toward her brothers, but she also has moments of hard-heartedness (as do we all). She loves to plan a school afternoon for Jake. She'll read to him and choose activities. They'll spend hours playing so peacefully and Jake loves every second of him. Then, her hard hardens and she wants nothing to do with him when her friends come over. If only she could find a balance so she can show more kindness, even when she wants some girl time! 

John 6:41-51

So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 

Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me— not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father.  

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”


This gospel passage mentions the manna in the desert that we discussed last week. It also continues to talk about the difference between bread on earth and the bread sent from Heaven. We are truly talking about the difference between our temporary, and temporal life on earth, and eternal life in Heaven. 

We have been reading through John 6 in the past few weeks and will continue for two more weeks. Each week, Jesus' words are more controversial, and he draws a harder line in the sand. 

Last week, Jesus called himself the "Bread of Life" but didn't give any specifics about how literally he meant that phrase. 

When we pick up the story today, the first line of this passage in this ESV translation mentions that the Jewish people were "grumbling." The translation that will be read at church says "murmured." So, whether they are grumbling or murmuring, the people do not agree with Jesus' claim to be the "Bread of Life."

Imagine their discontent when he continues to hammer the same point. He even expands his point to say that they must eat that bread, and the bread is his flesh. (BTW...ew?...the word flesh sounds gross.) But, does Jesus back down? Hecks no! We still have two more weeks of readings in which Jesus clarified that He DOES know what he's talking about, He's saying it on purpose, and He means it!

It's time to start talking about Mysteries of our faith.  There are things that our puny human minds can't understand. A fish can't understand math, not because he's not educated, but because it's too much for his little brain. If we think of ourselves as the fish, and God as the human, it might help our kids to understand His greatness.

We can try to understand what Jesus is talking about, and we can catch glimmers of comprehension. We can say the right thing and reiterate his words. However, we can't fully understand because we are mere fish in the ocean. It's OK if it doesn't make sense. Jesus didn't lecture the people on understanding every word. He lectured on belief.

Later this month, there will be question in the bulletin asking which Mystery of Faith is sung at your church, if you mention it now, they'll be ready to truly understand that question and be equipped to find the answer!  

Saint of the Week: Saint Rose of Lima
Saint Rose of Lima was the first canonized saint of the Americas (Peru). She was admired for her beauty, but she didn't want that admiration to turn her thoughts from God. She rubbed pepper on her face so she would have blotches, so she wouldn't be viewed as beautiful. I most definitely do NOT wish for my daughter to take up this habit, but I DO want to her follow Saint Rose's example of wanting God to be at the forefront, far ahead of her appearance. 

Catholic Kids Bulletin
Alright, it's time to click on over and print the bulletin for this week. 


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