Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Listening to Jesus
Points to note
A balancing act is required in this passage. Mary and Martha represent two opposing contrasts. It could be a delicate situation not to emphasise one to the exclusion of the other. Some children may seize on the opportunity to de-emphasise the aspect of serving.
We could make this session quite fun for the children if we encourage them to talk about the sounds that they like to hear. The message is quite simple: we have to listen to Jesus and after listening, it makes us do certain things. Focus on those certain things.
Acclamation before the Gospel
Open our hearts, O Lord,
to accept the words of your Son.
The feast of St Mary is on 22 July, with the feast of her sister following exactly one week later on 29 July. Even if the feast days do not coincide with the Sunday, they will be very close. The reading is about these two sisters.
The Lord be with you.
All: And also with you.
A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St Luke
All: Glory to you O Lord
(Lk 10: 38-42)
Jesus came to a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord’s feet and listened to him speaking. Now Martha who was busy with all the cooking said, “Lord, why do you not care that my sister is leaving me to do the cooking all by myself? Please tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered: “Martha, Martha,” he said, “you worry about so many things, and yet only one is important. It is Mary who has chosen the better one; it is not to be taken from her.”
This is the Gospel of the Lord
Sounds. Is there any sound that you like? One of my favourites is “Dinner is ready!”.
Is there a difference between sounds and noises?
Some sounds are special as they tell us certain things. Name some.
Lead it to examples such as telephone ringing - it tells us that someone wants to speak to us; doorbell - someone is at the door; ambulance siren - someone needs to get to hospital.
Some sounds are even more special. They not only tell us something, they also make us do something. Name some.
Telephone ringing - makes us pick up the phone; doorbell - makes us answer the door; ambulance siren - makes Mom or Dad pull the car to the side of the road (Do we really do that in Malaysia?).
We can only answer the phone, the door, etc., though, only if we are listening. Discuss difference between hearing and listening.
How we can tell if somebody is listening to us?
Basically, it has no effect on them. They don’t do what we tell them to do, for example.
Do we listen at mass? Is it important to listen at mass? What are the sounds we hear at mass.
I love this story. The priest was about to end his weekly mass at a convent of old nuns, when he realised that he has just forgotten an important announcement. So instead of saying, “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.”, he told them “I will not be coming for mass the next week due to another engagement.” An old deaf nun heard him say something but, not listening well, she thought the priest was ending the mass the normal way and so she responded ............... The importance of listening at mass!!
Just like those special sounds that are special, what we hear at mass are special because they not only tell us something, they make us do something.
Discuss what the sounds we hear at mass tell us - the individual sound tells us about when to kneel, etc.; take communion; the readings tell us about God and his love. They also make sure that we go out and love God and our neighbours (remember who is a neighbour, cf. Sunday15) when mass is finished.
Will it be much use if we were to learn so much about God and not do anything about it?