Quote from Dei Verbum, the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (no. 21):
"The Church has always held the divine scriptures in reverence
no less than it accords to the Lord's body itself,
never ceasing--especially in the sacred liturgy--to receive the bread of life
from the one table of God's word and Christ's body,
and to offer it to the faithful."

Following are ideas for art or craft projects to enhance enjoyment of the Readings.
Using their hands to work with the Scriptures in art projects
prepares children to "work" with the Scriptures in their hearts as they mature.
Displayed art keeps the Scripture in view and in mind.

Included, too, are additional comments and thoughts about the Readings.

     My sister-in-law, Sally, died July 4, 2008 after a long battle with cancer.  Sally was a convert to          Catholicism.  A family member wrote:  "Yesterday while I was there, Msgr. Jagodsinski came for a visit.  I tried to leave so she could have some time with him alone, but they both wanted me to stay.  He gave us Communion and gave Sally the Rite of the Sick.  Then Sally wanted to say something.    It was very hard to understand her as her voice was weak and she was crying, but the Msgr. and I met afterwards and this is what we think she said and I roughly quote: 'When I was about 9, I was in the Episcopal Church in Doylestown sitting in a row in the middle on the right hand side.  The sun was shining through the window and I heard the priest, who was usually very boring, say something that jumped out at me and has been with me all these years.  I have tried to live my life this way and feel it is what has made me who I am.  I want people to know this is what I feel and how I have tried to live.  It is not that I am just nice; it is that I have tried to follow this way of living since then.'"
     The priest had quoted Matthew 22:37-39: 
Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest  Commandment.  And the second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as  yourself."

Open Wednesday     Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, C

1.  Young artists like to write words inside shapes, as shown.
     A mobile can be made using hearts and the letters  L, O, V and E and write "1 Cor 13" on a piece of cardboard to hang. 
   The following is a play on words:
"-cor-" is related to "heart." 
E.g.:
cordial and encouragement.   
I
Cor 13 deals with heart-matters   :)
     Express your love this week by being cordial and by offering
encouragement.

2.  "You are my Rock and my Fortress"  (Ps 71:3).  Look for rocks this week.  As a child growing up in the Philadelphia area, we children would hunt small granite stones with veins of shiny mica what treasure!  Near our front door I have a rock (not so big that I can't carry it ) on top of which I've placed stones.  The rock represents  J _  _  _  _  .  Did you guess that one OK?  And the stone represent us!
(1 Peter 2:5 and Rev 2:17)  In our dining room I keep a bowl filled with stones which children enjoy looking through on a rainy day.  These are stones we found and polished stones given us and a few stones we purchased.  Fingering stones and rocks is a good time to talk about God.

3.  "You are my Rock and my Fortress" (Ps 71:3).  When my children were little we would make a fortress from cardboard.  We would cover quart containers of milk   with brown paper for the corner towers.  We would cut walls from cardboard.  A box made the castle in the middle.  We would place all on brown paper (I think poster board would better) and the children would paint a moat and paths.  What fun to create banners for the castle and towers, and on the banners write: "You are my Fortress, Ps 71:3."  Let students look up "fortress" in a concordance for other Biblical references.  Each banner could have a different verse.  Less time consuming is to draw a fortress, and on each banner write a different verse from Scripture.

4.  In the Gospel Jesus refers to both Elijah and his disciple, Elisha.  Students
may enjoy reading about Elijah calling Elisha (1 Kings 19:19).  Look for pictures in a Bible storybook.  For the account of Elijah visiting the widow in Zarephath read
1 Kings 17:7-24.  The story of Elisha healing Naaman is found in 2 Kings 5; wonderful story, and I use it with teens in conjunction with the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Naaman was perturbed that the remedy for his leprosy was ridiculously easy; similarly, Jesus makes forgiveness very easy for us.   Young thespians may enjoy acting these stories.

5.  "we see indistinctly, as in a mirror " is from the Second Reading.  Our mirrors of silvered glass reflect well, but in Biblical times a mirror was made of polished metal.  Here is a picture of a pair of mirrors and of a relief showing a high class woman looking in a mirror held by servants.  High school students may know about polished metal mirrors from their high school locker rooms.  Every time they look in one, it can remind them that now we understand faith matters only in a fuzzy way, but when we are with Jesus -- Wow! It will all become clear.

Reader's Digest's Jesus and His Times, p 82.

6.  Readers in the United States may find it providential that these Readings
mentioning the dignity of unborn life (First Reading and Psalm) occur so close to the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion (January 22, 1973).

7.  The Gospel mentions the miracles Jesus worked in Capernaum.  Jesus grew up in Nazareth, but later moved to Capernaum, a seaport on the Sea of Galilee.  Perhaps your Bible has a map section and you can locate Capernaum on a map.
     Please note that Jesus spoke
gracious words.  Think: grace-filled.  Gracious words are words spoken with God's grace.
Let our words, too, be
gracious!

Map from Victor Handbook of Bible Knowledge, pp. 361.

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