FROM OUR EDITORS—February 17, 2019 – 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Author: Joan McKamey ~ February 10, 2019

5

In the Beatitudes, Jesus gives us his roadmap to happiness—and to our ultimate destination: Heaven. The evangelist Luke has a bias for the poor. When Jesus teaches the Beatitudes in Matthew’s Gospel, he says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). Luke takes out the phrase in spirit. Throughout his Gospel, Luke calls attention to the real poor—the ones without enough food, clothes, or shelter.

Luke makes it clear that those of us who have plenty or even just enough now will experience woe and God’s displeasure if we are blinded by the riches of this world and fail to recognize and seek the treasures of God’s kingdom. Seeking the treasures of God’s kingdom will open our eyes and hearts to the needs of the real poor that Luke calls blessed in his Beatitudes.

The Thanksgiving and Christmas collections for the poor are past, but the needs of agencies that serve the poor continue throughout the year. As the beginning of Lent (3/6) approaches, you might consider planning a collection for the “real poor.” Homeless shelters often need socks and personal care products. Food banks need nonperishable food items. Pregnancy help centers may need maternity clothes and baby items. As we work to help meet the physical needs of these agencies’ clients, we can also add our commitment to pray for them. Their spiritual needs are just as important as their physical needs.

LET US PRAY: Loving God, thank you for the many blessings we enjoy every day. Help us to not take them for granted. Help us to see those who are poor with God’s eyes and share our blessings with them. Give us the wisdom to seek and value the treasures of your Kingdom over the treasures of this world. Soften our hearts and break down our prejudices toward those who have less. Help us to depend on you and trust in your care. Amen.

 

Image credit: iStock.com/Steve Debenport

FROM OUR EDITORS—February 10, 2019 – 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Author: Joan McKamey ~ February 4, 2019

1

God is generous. We see this in Sunday’s Gospel of the miraculous catch of fish. After Simon Peter had been fishing all night without catching anything, he and his partner caught such “a great number of fish [that] their nets were tearing” (Luke 5:6). They even had to call in help from James and John in another boat: “They came and filled both boats so that the boats were in danger of sinking” (5:7). This miraculous catch was the result of Simon following Jesus’ command.

Being generous is risky. We may fear giving too much and not having enough for our own needs. We may have been taken advantage of in the past and be concerned about repeating that experience. We may feel depleted and needy ourselves. We may simply be selfish.

God calls us to be generous. Jesus tells us to love others as God loves us—generously. He wants us to place our trust in God instead of the things and values of this world. Your generosity to the children in your care shows them a glimpse of the generosity of our infinitely generous God.

LET US PRAY: Good and gracious God, thank you for your great generosity. Help us to follow and trust your commands. Teach us to be generous in our thoughts, words, and actions. Help us when we are tempted to be selfish. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.

Image credit: iStock.com/ArtMarie

DE NUESTROS EDITORES—10 de febrero, 2019 – 5.o Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario

Author: Joan McKamey ~ January 29, 2019

1

Dios es generoso. Esto lo podemos comprobar en el Evangelio de este domingo que relata la pesca milagrosa. Después de que Simón Pedro había estado pescando toda la noche sin tener suerte, él y su amigo “pescaron tal cantidad de peces, que las redes casi se rompían” (Lucas 5, 6). Inclusive tuvieron que pedir la ayuda de Santiago y Juan que estaban en otra barca: ellos “vinieron y llenaron tanto las dos barcas, que por poco se hundían” (5, 7). Esta pesca milagrosa sucedió porque Simón hizo lo que Jesús le dijo.

Ser generoso puede tener sus riesgos. En ocasiones tenemos miedo de dar demasiado y no tener lo suficiente para satisfacer nuestras propias necesidades. Quizá alguien se aprovechó de nosotros en el pasado y nos preocupa que esto vuelva a repetirse. Quizá nosotros mismos sentimos que necesitamos ayuda, o simplemente somos algo egoístas.

Dios nos invita a ser generosos. Jesús nos dice que amemos a los demás como Dios nos ama: de manera generosa. Él desea que pongamos nuestra confianza en Dios, en lugar de confiar en las cosas y los valores de este mundo. Tu generosidad para con los niños que están a tu cuidado les hace ver la generosidad de nuestro Dios.

OREMOS: Dios bueno y misericordioso, gracias por tu generosidad. Ayúdanos a seguir y confiar en tus mandamientos. Ayúdanos a ser generosos con nuestros pensamientos, palabras y acciones. Ayúdanos cuando sintamos la tentación de ser egoístas. Por Jesucristo, Nuestro Señor. Amén.

 

Traducción: Erika De Urquidi
Imagen: iStock.com/ArtMarie

FROM OUR EDITORS—February 3, 2019 – 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Author: Joan McKamey ~ January 28, 2019

387

In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus faces the rejection of the people in his hometown synagogue: “They were all filled with fury. They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong. But Jesus passed through the midst of them and went away” (Luke 4:28b–30).

The townspeople of Nazareth meant to hurt Jesus, if not kill him. The truth Jesus spoke was something the people weren’t ready to hear, especially from one of their own. Being rejected is hard—and no one has tried to hurl me headlong down a hill! We have all experienced some rejection in our lives, and some of it has likely come as a result of our belief in Jesus Christ.

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul wrote, “living the truth in love, we should grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ” (4:15).

LET US PRAY: Good and gracious God, give us the strength to live the truth in love, even if doing so leads some people to reject us. Help us to keep our ears, minds, and hearts open to your truth, so that we may grow into the image of Jesus, our Savior and Lord. Amen.

 

Image credit: iStock.com/ia_64

DE NUESTROS EDITORES—3 de febrero, 2019 – 4.o Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario

Author: Joan McKamey ~ January 21, 2019

387

En el Evangelio del domingo, Jesús se enfrenta al rechazo de la gente en la sinagoga de su ciudad natal: “Todos en la sinagoga se indignaron al escuchar estas palabras; se levantaron y lo empujaron fuera del pueblo, llevándolo hacia un barranco del cerro sobre el que está construido el pueblo, con intención de arrojarlo desde allí. Pero Jesús pasó por medio de ellos y siguió su camino” (Lucas 4, 28b–30).

Los habitantes de Nazareth querían dañar a Jesús, incluso matarlo. La verdad que Jesús les dijo era algo que el pueblo no estaba preparado para escuchar, sobre todo viniendo de uno de ellos. Es difícil ser rechazado, ¡y nadie ha tratado de lanzarnos a un precipicio! Todos hemos experimentado el rechazo en nuestras vidas, y es probable que algunas veces se ha debido a nuestra fe en Jesucristo.

En su carta a los efesios, Pablo escribió: “estaremos en la verdad y el amor, e iremos creciendo cada vez más para alcanzar a aquel que es la cabeza, Cristo” (4, 15).

OREMOS: Dios misericordioso, danos la fortaleza para vivir la verdad en el amor, aunque hacerlo haga que algunos nos rechacen. Ayúdanos a abrir nuestros oídos, mentes y corazones a tu verdad, para que nos asemejemos a Jesús, nuestro Salvador y Señor. Amén.

 

Traducción: Erika De Urquidi
Imagen: iStock.com/ia_64

FROM OUR EDITORS—January 27, 2019 – 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Author: Erika De Urquidi ~ January 21, 2019

383

In this Sunday’s Second Reading, Saint Paul reminds us that we are members of the Body of Christ and that even though each member has a different role, all of us are equally important and vital for the body to survive.

Pope Francis exhorts us to “remember more often what we are, what the Lord Jesus made of us: we are his body: that body which nothing and no one can ever tear from Him and which He cloaks with all his passion and with all his love…” The Holy Father recognizes that during our journey as Christians, we encounter difficulties, division, and envy that fracture the community. He offers three practical tips to overcome these challenges:

  1. Appreciate the qualities of others.
  2. Express gratitude.
  3. Do not consider yourself superior to others.

Let’s pray in unity with the Pope, that the grace and abundance of the gifts of the Holy Spirit help us to live as a real family, as the visible sign of the Body of Christ.

Image credit: iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

DE NUESTROS EDITORES—27 de enero, 2019 – 3.er Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario

Author: Erika De Urquidi ~ January 20, 2019

383

En la segunda lectura de este domingo, San Pablo nos dice que todos somos miembros del cuerpo de Cristo y que cada miembro, aunque realiza funciones diferentes, es tan importante y vital para que el cuerpo pueda funcionar y seguir viviendo.

El Papa Francisco nos exhorta a recordar “más a menudo lo que somos, lo que ha hecho con nosotros el Señor Jesús. Somo su cuerpo, ese cuerpo que nada ni nadie puede arrancar de Él, y Él recubre con toda su pasión y su amor…”. El Santo Padre reconoce que en nuestro caminar como Iglesia encontramos dificultades, divisiones, y envidias que fracturan a la comunidad y nos ofrece 3 consejos prácticos para combatirlas:

  1. Apreciar los dones de los demás.
  2. Expresar gratitud.
  3. No considerar a nadie superior a los otros.

Pidamos, en unión con el Papa, que la gracia y abundancia de los dones del Espíritu Santo nos ayuden a vivir realmente como familia, como signos visibles del cuerpo de Cristo.

Imagen: iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

FROM OUR EDITORS—January 20, 2019 – 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

Author: Joan McKamey ~ January 14, 2019

From our Editors

Welcome to Unit 3 and the start of Ordinary Time! As you and your class begin Unit 3, we’ve recently sent the Unit 4 student lessons and Teaching Guides to the printer. (It’s a bit disorienting at times for our editorial and design teams to be working on Lent and Easter lessons during November and December!)

Now we move into planning for the 2019–2020 program year. The Gospel Weeklies get reworked every year. We don’t simply repeat what was offered three years ago. We start with that base but build on it by updating or replacing stories, activities, photos, and artwork. We check each Gospel for consistency with the Sunday Gospel the children will hear at Mass. We strengthen the doctrinal content in all levels and the Catholic Faith Words in Good News, Venture, and Visions. We check liturgical illustrations for accuracy with current norms and doublecheck words from liturgies to ensure that they match our current rites. This coming program year will also be the third year of our enhanced Teaching Guides.

Our team is continually improving the Gospel Weeklies to better assist you in your important ministry as catechists, teachers, and parents; to help the children learn the content of our faith—in their minds and hearts—and integrate it into their lives; and, of course, to give glory to God!

LET US PRAY: Good and gracious God, you call us to begin again—a new calendar year, a new unit, and working to plan a new program year. We trust you to guide us along both familiar and uncharted paths. Help us to grow closer to you and to give you glory and praise with our lives. Bless the children in our care. Open their minds and hearts to the wonder of your Good News. Amen.

 

Image credit: © Bayard, Inc.

DE NUESTROS EDITORES – 20 de enero, 2019 – 2.o Domingo del Tiempo Ordinario

Author: Joan McKamey ~ January 13, 2019

From our Editors

¡Bienvenidos a la Unidad 3 y al inicio del Tiempo Ordinario! Ahora que ustedes comienzan la Unidad 3 con sus niños, el equipo editorial ha enviado a la imprenta las lecciones para la Unidad 4. (¡En ocasiones es un poco confuso para nuestros editores y diseñadores trabajar con las lecciones de Cuaresma y Pascua durante los meses de noviembre y diciembre!).

Ahora comenzaremos a planear el programa anual para el 2019-2020. Los Gospel Weeklies se revisan y reelaboran cada año, no repetimos el mismo contenido que se ofreció hace tres años. Comenzamos con dicha base, pero actualizamos o reemplazamos relatos, actividades, fotos e ilustraciones. Verificamos también que los Evangelios incluidos en las lecciones vayan de acuerdo con el Evangelio dominical que los niños escucharán en la Misa. Fortalecemos el contenido doctrinal en todos los niveles, así como la sección “Palabra de la fe católica” en los niveles Good News, Venture y Visions. Revisamos que las ilustraciones litúrgicas cumplan con las normas actuales y verificamos que el texto tomado de las liturgias corresponda a los ritos que se utilizan hoy en día. Este año también será el tercer año que ofrecemos nuestras Guías Catequéticas renovadas.

Nuestro equipo mejora continuamente los Gospel Weeklies para ayudarles en su importante ministerio como catequistas, maestros y padres; para ayudar a los niños a aprender el contenido de nuestra fe (en sus mentes y corazones) e integrarlo en sus vidas y, por supuesto, ¡para dar gloria a Dios!

OREMOS: Dios bueno y misericordioso, tú nos llamas a comenzar un nuevo año, una nueva unidad y a trabajar en un plan para un nuevo año escolar. Confiamos en tu guía y protección. Ayúdanos a acercarnos más a ti y a darte gloria y honor con nuestras vidas. Bendice a los niños que están bajo nuestro cuidado. Abre sus mentes y sus corazones para que puedan recibir tus Buenas Noticias. Amén.

 

Traducción: Erika De Urquidi

Imagen: © Bayard, Inc.

FROM OUR EDITORS—January 13, 2019 – Baptism of the Lord

Author: Joan McKamey ~ January 2, 2019

Wouldn’t it be awesome to have the heavens open, the Holy Spirit descend in bodily form like a dove, and a voice from heaven say, “You are my beloved child; with you I am well pleased”? What a boost in confidence that would give us and how inspired we would be to do God’s mission!

While these events likely didn’t accompany our own Baptisms, we are the beneficiaries of all that God’s beloved Son accomplished through his life, Death, and Resurrection. When we receive Holy Communion, we might imagine the heavens opening as our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, comes to us both physically and spiritually through his Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity. THAT should boost our confidence in our God-given gifts as well as inspire us to embrace God’s mission and carry it out with zeal.

LET US PRAY: Good and gracious God, as we complete our observance of the Christmas season, help us to remain mindful of all that the gift of your Son, Jesus Christ, brings to our lives. As we live out our baptismal call in this new year, may we seek to do so with clear intention and focus. May your Holy Spirit inspire us and give us all we need to share the Good News of your great love with others. Amen.

Image credit: Corinne SIMON/CIRIC

VIDEOS OF THE WEEK

RECENT POSTS

SUNDAY’S GOSPEL—February 17, 2019 – 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Prayers for All Seasons

Do You Need a Do-Over?

SUNDAY’S GOSPEL—February 24, 2019 – 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time