22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time - A  - August 31, 2014

I Don't Understand, God

How many times have we missed the message of God?  We assume we know God's will, or substitute our will for his.  Our way might succeed or fail, but the cost is so much higher that God's way.  We feel no peace.  Our lives become increasingly dramatic.  God's way means sacrifice, but it also means inner contentment, for God shows us our place in his plan.


WEEKLY BLOG LINK How do we define the meaning of life?

MP3 PODCAST  When do we misunderstand God?  Haste, laziness, or preconceived notions block our “spiritual ears.”  We might hear God speak to us, but we say, “God really said this, or that, or the other thing.”  To clear hear God, we must be willing to sacrifice, to put aside our agenda for God's.

FIRST READING  Jeremiah got mad at God, but remained faithful to his work.  This reading from the prophet proved the saying:  “It's OK to get mad at God.  It's not OK to give up on God.”  

PSALM  Psalm 63 was a morning prayer.  It set the tone of the day for the believer who raised their mind and heart to God.  This hymn reminds and encourages us to pray in the morning, so we can place God first in our lives each day.  

SECOND READING  In his letter to the Romans, St. Paul encouraged his audience to offer themselves up to God.  In other words, actively seek God's will over our own, despite the pain involved.  As St. Paul stated:  “Seek the good, the pleasing (to God) and the complete.”   

GOSPEL  Who's in charge?  The answer to that question can be as simple as whose “spin” on a subject becomes common wisdom.  After he declared Jesus the Messiah, Peter challenged the notion Jesus had as the Christ.  Peter's idea of God's Holy One did not include suffering and death.  In response, Jesus had to reject and shame Peter to correct his vision.  

CHILDREN'S READINGS  In the story for the first reading, Al made a choice to work on Saturdays so he could make money for his hobby.  That choice led to criticism by his friends.  Al remained true to his choice, despite the hurt of comments, just like prophet Jeremiah did.  In the story for the gospel, Coach Ralph gave his girls' team a simple piece of advice:  “The road to winning begins with losing.” He deliberately lost every pre-season game in order to test the girls and find their weaknesses, then he could coach them to win.  Jesus had to follow the same road.  He lost his life in order to gain eternal life for us.

FAMILY ACTIVITY  When we want to hug others, we throw our arms out wide. Jesus died in this pose.  The way he died showed everyone he wanted to hug them.  Demonstrate that fact to your family with the “Selfish Pose, Love Pose” game.