Forgiveness and mercy
Reading I: Sirach 27:30-28:7 (call to forgiveness and mercy)
Reading II: Romans 14:7-9 (to live and die for Christ)
Gospel: Matthew 18:21-35 (the merciless official)
Key Passage: Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.” (Matthew 18:21–22)
Adult: When someone hurts you, how do you forgive them?
Child: When have you forgiven someone who treated you unfairly?
Helping others grow
Reading I: Ezekiel 33:7-9 (the prophet a watchman)
Reading II: Romans 13:8-10 (love fulfills the Law)
Gospel: Matthew 18:15-20 (fraternal correction)
Key Passage: Jesus said, “If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone.” (Matthew 18:15)
Adult: How have you been able to follow Christ more closely because others patiently loved you?
Child: How can you help another person do the right thing?
Reading I: Jeremiah 20:7-9 (Jeremiah’s interior crisis)
Reading II: Romans 12:1-2 (sacrifice of body and mind)
Gospel: Matthew 16:21-27 (first prophecy of passion and resurrection; doctrine of the cross)
Key Passage: Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24)
Adult: In what concrete ways do you take up your cross and follow Jesus?
Child: When has it been difficult to be a follower of Jesus?
Representatives of Christ
Reading I: Isaiah 22:15, 19-23 (Eliakim chosen by God)
Reading II: Romans 11:33-36 (praise of God)
Gospel: Matthew 16:13-20 (Peter the rock)
Key Passage: He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:15–16)
Adult: If you were asked, how would you explain Jesus to a person who had not heard of him?
Child: Who do you tell people Jesus is?