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+302+ Liturgy of the Word: Give God your Mind (Family Mass 2)

Fr. Joel Homilies

God made us and He loves us. How do we know this? God talked to people like Noah and Abraham. They wanted us to know about God too so they wrote it all down. It made a big book called the Holy Bible. Every Sunday we read from four parts of the Bible: A first reading from the Old Testament, a second reading from the Psalms, a reading from the New Testament, and an extra-special reading from the Gospel. They always have something in common. Why do we read the Bible at Mass? God wants us to think like he does; to see the world like He does. God asks for our minds. Why? Because He wants us to be happy and giving ourselves to God is the only way to true happiness. Give God your mind at Mass today. (4 Nov 2012)

 

Liturgy of the Word

This week the teaching portion will take place after the opening prayer and before even the first reading is read. I will invite the children to join me up in front and speak about what is about to happen.

I have some important questions to ask all of you:

  • Who made us?             (God)
  • How does God feel about us?                          (he loves us)
  • God loves us? How much?

How do we know these things are true? We know them because God Himself told us so!

God spoke to some special people:

  • Adam – You are my son
  • Noah – Build a boat
  • Abraham – leave the land you grew up in and move to a new place
  • Isaac, Jacob
  • Moses – come away from Egypt and go back to your land

These people wrote down what God was saying so we would all know about God.

What do we call this book? The Bible. The Bible is divided into two big parts called:

  • Old Testament
  • New Testament

Every Sunday we read 4 different parts from the Bible, two from the Old Testament and two from the new:

  • First Reading: Old Testament.
  • Psalm: From the Bible’s “hymn book” – that is why we sing the psalm.
  • Second Reading: New Testament
  • Gospel: We stand because Jesus is speaking to us. We listen carefully.

Why do we listen to the Bible every single Sunday?

God loves us and he wants us to be happy. Because he made us, he knows exactly what it takes for us to become happy. What do we have to do? We have to let Him. We have to give God permission to be our Lord and Savior. Jesus gives us Himself at Mass and He wants something in return. This part of the Mass, God asks for our minds. He wants us to think like Him; To see the world like He sees it. When we read the Bible it shows us the right way to think about the world, ourselves, and God. Will you give God your mind today?

After we listen carefully, we have a chance to respond. Our response comes in two parts:

The Creed reminds us who God is, what the world is about, and who we are. It’s like summarizing the rest of the Bible in a little mini form. This is the whole message from start to finish.

We have a shorter creed called the Apostle’s Creed and a longer one called the Nicene Creed.

We wrote the longer one because people didn’t agree about Jesus. We wanted them to know that Jesus was really God, so we talked a lot about it.

The second part of our response looks like this:

We know that God made everything and will take care of it all, so we offer prayers for everyone we can think of. Please take care of them. We put our life in God’s hands. Now that we have listened and started thinking differently, we realize that God will take care of us.

Additional Information

The Mass is a sort of “show and tell” about the Father’s love for us. First God tells us, then he shows us. The Liturgy of the Word is God telling us he loves us. We read from the Bible.

The Bible goes back more than 4000 years and it contains a written record of the history of God’s communication with human beings. Not everything is in there, but the most important parts and events are. The Bible is not just one book. It is like a big portable library of 73 different books. The basic structure of the Bible is the family story of Jesus. It also contains songs, poems, short stories, family genealogies, and even old laws. At Mass every Sunday, we read four different readings from the Bible.

  • Old Testament – 46 books.
    • Before Jesus came.
    • Starts with the creation of the world. Ends with the Greeks and Romans invading Israel.
    • Adam and Eve, Noah – flood, Abraham and the people of Israel
    • The passage from the Old Testament is picked to go with the Gospel.
    • There is usually a pattern of OT “promise” and NT “fulfillment.”
    • Psalms – a hymnbook containing 150 songs. We read and respond to one each Sunday.
    • New Testament – 27 books.
      • After Jesus came.
      • Talks about the people who followed him in the first 100 years of being Christians.
      • Some were killed because they believed in Jesus.
      • Gospel – 4 of the 27 books of the New Testament.
        • The most special part of the Bible: The words of Jesus himself.
        • Read only by the priest or Deacon.
        • Jesus talks to us!
        • Homily: Helps us understand what Jesus is saying.
        • Creed: Reminds us what we believe.
        • Prayers of the Faithful: Ask God to help us live what he told us.