Begin with a few moments of quiet.
Invite all present to sit comfortably.
When sitting comfortably, take three deep breaths, as you breathe in feel your lungs filling all the way up, when they are full slowly release your breath and feel your lungs emptying out fully. Repeat this three times.
Now return to breathing normally.
Use some of this quietening music to help come into a space of prayer
Opening ourselves to the Presence of God in our lives
Have a conversation, allowing each person present a few moments to think about and to reply to the following.
Thinking back over the week, let us share with one another
What is it that I want to say thank you for?
What is it that want to say I am sorry for?
Now begin with the following prayer:
Thank you that we can celebrate Jesus
Thank you for all He did for us
And all that He continues to do
Help us to trust in you
Even when we don’t understand what’s happening
We know you work things for good
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Introduce the Gospel
Today is the Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel we hear that Jesus has moved away from the region of Galilee & is staying in an area near Tyre and Sideon. Large crowds of people had been coming to listen to Jesus and to see him perform miracles. He was in need of a rest and some time to reflect and pray, so he went to an area where few people knew him. Here he meets with a Canaanite woman and she asks him for something, lets listen to this Gospel and hear what happens.….
Read the Gospel Matthew 15:21-28
Jesus left the place and went off to a territory near the cities of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman who lived in the region came to him.
‘Son of David!’ she cried out, ‘have mercy on me, sir! My daughter ‘s mind is disturbed and she is very ill’.
But Jesus did not say a word to her. His disciples came to him and begged him ‘Send her away! She is following us and making all this noise!’
Then Jesus replied, ‘ I have been sent only to the lost sheep of the people of Israel’. At this the woman came and fell at his feet. ‘Help me sir!’ she said.
Jesus answered, ‘It isn’t right to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs’.
‘That’s true sir, ‘ she answered; but even the dogs eat the leftovers that fall from their master’s table’.
So Jesus answered her,’ You are a woman of great faith! What you want will be done for you’, and at that very moment her daughter was healed.
Engaging with the Gospel
This weekend we offer two approaches to reflecting in the family on the Gospel. The first is to use the following questions for discussion.
The second is to use the video further down which presents the Gospel and also asks questions after it.
Use either now or use the written questions now and come back to the video one day during the coming week to chat again about the Gospel.
Have a Conversation about the Gospel
The writer of this Gospel is called Matthew. He was one of the twelve apostles who helped Jesus to tell everyone the Good News. He was a tax collector before he started to help Jesus.
What do you remember from today’s reading?
Can you remember where Jesus went to?
Jesus went a stay in a place near the cities of Tyre and Sidon. This was a region far away from Gaillee and not a lot of people would have know him there.
Who did he meet there?
He met a Canaanite woman there. The Canaanite people were not Jewish and they practiced the old religion, which was in the country before the Jewish religion.
What did the Canannite woman ask for?
She was very worried about her daughter who was ill and so she begged Jesus to help heal her daughter.
Did Jesus help her when she first asked him?
No, Jesus did not help the Canaanite woman when she first asked him for help.
Can you remember why Jesus did not help the woman at first?
At first Jesus did not help the woman because he says that ‘I have been sent only to the lost sheep of the people of Israel’. When he is talking about the the lost sheep of Israel, Jesus is referring to the Jewish people.
At the end of the Gospel we hear that Jesus helps the Canaanite woman and heals her daughter. Can you remember why he changed his mind?
The Canaanite woman was very persistent, she would not give up and kept asking Jesus to help her. She was not deterred even when Jesus said he would not help her, she continues to argue with him to help as she feels that even the smallest amount of his help would be enough to heal her daughter.
Jesus changed his mind and helped the woman because he could see that she had great faith and a very strong belief in him and what he could do. He said to her
’ You are a woman of great faith! What you want will be done for you’
What messages can we learn from today’s Gospel?
We learn that Jesus brought his message about God’s love for everyone who was open to receiving it. We also learn how important it is to put our faith and trust in God. Sometimes it can be hard to do this because of difficulties and problems that we face in our day to day lives, but if we keep believing and have faith God will help us.
End with a prayer
Dear Jesus, We place all our faith and trust in you, help us to keep our faith in your love for us even when we face difficult times in our life. Amen
A Video that invites you into ‘wondering’ about the Gospel.
Here are some activities you might like to complete during the coming week as a reminder of this Gospel today.