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 Twenty First Sunday in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel we hear Jesus asking his close friends what people are saying about him and what they think about his message. Lets hear what they tell him.
Read the Gospel Matthew 16:13-20
Jesus went to the territory near the town of Caesarea Philippi, where he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
“Some say John the Baptist,” they answered. “Others say Elijah, while others say Jeremiah or some other prophet.”
“What about you?” he asked them. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
“Good for you, Simon son of John!” answered Jesus. “For this truth did not come to you from any human being, but it was given to you directly by my Father in heaven. And so I tell you, Peter: you are a rock, and on this rock foundation I will build my church, and not even death will ever be able to overcome it. I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of heaven; what you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and what you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.”
Then Jesus ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
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
What do you remember from today’s reading?
Jesus asks the disciples who the people say he is.
Can you remember the answers that they gave? (John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, another prophet).
Then Jesus asks the disciples who they think he is. He is interested to see if they realise just how special he is.
If Jesus asked you this question what would you say?
Can you remember what Simon Peter says? Simon Peter says that Jesus is the Son of God.
I’m going to ask you a question now – a bit like the one Jesus asked his disciples. Can you tell me one word that you would use to answer the question “Who or what do you say God is like?”
For example, we could say that God is forgiving. Or God is kindness. What other ideas do you have?
God is all these things and more. We can never fully know what God is like. But we do know that God loves us. No matter who we are, where we come from, what we look like, or whether we are rich or poor.
After Simon Peter had said that Jesus was the Son of God, Jesus promised that Peter would build the Church.
Saint Peter went on to share Jesus’ message and helped build the Church that we are part of today. Not the building, but the community that is all around the world.
Saint Peter is often called the first Pope. Do you know who the Pope is today?
Our Pope is called Pope Francis. Pope Francis tries to teach people who God is and to spread Jesus’ message throughout the world.
Pope Francis wrote a special letter, called Laudato Si’, asking everyone to take care of the earth, because it is a special gift from God for all people to share. The letter also reminds us how important people who are poor are, and how much God loves them.
We are all part of the Church. And just like Saint Peter and Pope Francis we can spread Jesus’ message to others.
We can tell people who Jesus is and that he asks us to love one another. But we can also show people by the way that we treat one another, especially those who are poor or who are different to us in some way.
What can you do to spread Jesus’ message of love for one another this week? How will you treat other people in your home, in your community and around the world?
End with a prayer
Dear Jesus, Thank you for my church family. I will keep building your church on earth. 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.