Get together with your family to read a gospel story . This is also a great activity for Sunday school or youth ministry. You can select one from the daily mass readings. But sometimes the daily gospel can be difficult to understand, especially for younger children.
Here are some other suggestions:
The Prodigal Son (AKA The Forgiving Father)
This is a favorite parable about God’s mercy. Our loving Father is always waiting for us to return to Him. This gospel story is especially good to read before going to the sacrament of reconciliation. See this Lesson Plan on the Prodigal Son also.
The Judgement of the Nations
Jesus tells of the final judgement in this gospel story. And the criteria for judgement? Not how pious we are. Not how much we prayed. Not if we went to mass every Sunday. The one criteria Jesus mentions in the gospels is how did we serve Jesus by taking care of the marginalized. See some Judgement of the Nations Reflection Questions.
The Good Samaritan
Another parable about how we need to treat each other. Who is really doing the will of God in this story? It is not the “holy” people, but the outsider who takes time to help another.
The Foolish Rich Man
This is a gospel story about seeking the wrong things in life. We should not be focused on seeking wealth and comfort for ourselves. Instead, we should spend our energy doing God’s will.
Jesus tells us what makes us truly blessed. Instead of the things the world values – like fame and wealth – true blessings come from doing the things which please our heavenly Father. Read each beatitude and think how it might apply to your life. Then pray this Litany of the Beatitudes.
The Temptation in the Desert
Even Jesus, the Son of God, faced temptation. Think about the three temptations and how Jesus responded to them. What are similar temptations in our modern lives? How do we respond? See this In the Desert Lesson Plan on Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving for more ideas.
The Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin
The two stories proceed the parable of the prodigal son. Both tell of our infinite value to our Father and how much He longs for us to be with him. A good discussion point is if we really feel that valuable or not. This What Do I Treasure? Activity and Reflection Questions will help you start a discussion.
The word of God nurtures and renews faith: let us put it back at the centre of our prayer and our spiritual life!Pope Francis
St. Ignatius of Loyola believed that God gave us our imaginations and could use this gift to speak to us. One method of praying in the tradition called Ignatian Contemplation, by putting yourself in a gospel story and to see where that leads you.
Lectio Divina means “divine reading”. It is a prayer practice which trusts that God speaks to us through scripture. This is another way to pray with a gospel story.
Fr. James Martin explains this method of prayer, which is often called Ignatian Contemplation.
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