Heavenly Father, the beauty and dignity of human life was the crowning of your creation. You further ennobled that life when your Son became one with us in his incarnation. Help us to realize the sacredness of human life and to respect it from the moment of conception until the last moment at death. Give us courage to speak with truth and love and with conviction in defense of life. Help us to extend the gentle hand of mercy and forgiveness to those who do not reverence your gift of life. To all, grant pardon for the times we have failed to be grateful for your precious gift of life or to respect it in others. We ask this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Living our faith
Reading I: Isaiah 25:6-10 (a feast for all peoples)
Reading II: Philippians 4:12-14, 19-20 (generosity)
Gospel: Matthew 22:1-14 (the wedding banquet)
Key Passage: Jesus said, “Many are invited, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14)
Adult: How do you translate your faith into the work of the Reign of God?
Child: What three things can you do this week to show that you are a follower of Jesus?
Reading I: Isaiah 5:1-7 (the vineyard song)
Reading II: Philippians 4:6-9 (joy and peace in Christ)
Gospel: Matthew 21:33-43 (parable of the tenants)
Key Passage: Jesus said, “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that will produce its fruit.” (Matthew 21:43)
Adult: How have you used your talents and abilities well for the Reign of God?
Child: What can you do in your week to help the love of God grow in the world?
The challenge to forgive
Reading I: Ezekiel 18:25-28 (personal responsibility)
Reading II: Philippians 2:1-11 (imitating the humility of Christ)
Gospel: Matthew 21:28-32 (parable of the two sons)
Key Passage: A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, “Son, go and work in the vineyard today.” He answered, “I will not”; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, “I go, sir”; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father? They said, “The first.” (Matthew 21:28–31)
Adult: When have your actions not measured up to your promises? What was the outcome?
Child: Why is it important to follow through on your promises to others?
Reading I: Isaiah 55:6-9 (seeking the Lord)
Reading II: Philippians 1:20-24, 27 (spreading the gospel)
Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16 (the laborers in the vineyard)
Key Passage: [The landowner] said “Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?” (Matthew 20:14–15)
Adult: What lessons do you draw from today’s Gospel? How has God been generous to you in this way?
Child: Who is generous to you, even when you do not always deserve it?