CHILDREN’S VOICES ACTIVITY: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1aMWZg4-KOP-5PpOZkPJj1h63-psDlBOI/view?usp=sharing
29th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Isaiah 45:1, 4-6. Give the Lord glory and honour – Psalm 95(96):1, 3-5, 7-10. 1 Thessalonians 1:1-5. Matthew 22:15-21.
Give back to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
Jesus offers us a clear view of life, ‘Give to the emperor what belongs to him and God the things that are God’s’. Such a perceptive viewpoint ensures that one can live a life of faith and service in society that is not compromised by emotional attachment or perceptions of obligation. In placing the higher value on what is God’s one can move beyond the challenges of ‘work’ and ‘life’. As God is not challenged by anything one can place their attention on him and live according to his will unafraid of earthly constraints. How can you enter into the day more aware of your obligations to society and God? What do you place your attention on and what offers true reward? Who is worthy of your love and sacrifice and for whom do you serve?
The more we call on God
the more we can feel God’s presence.
Day by day we are drawn closer
to the loving heart of God.
Saint John Paul II on the Importance of the Family Rosary
As a prayer for peace, the Rosary is also, and always has been, a prayer of and for the family. At one time this prayer was particularly dear to Christian families, and it certainly brought them closer together. It is important not to lose this precious inheritance. We need to return to the practice of family prayer and prayer for families, continuing to use the Rosary.
In my Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte I encouraged the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours by the lay faithful in the ordinary life of parish communities and Christian groups; I now wish to do the same for the Rosary. These two paths of Christian contemplation are not mutually exclusive; they complement one another. I would therefore ask those who devote themselves to the pastoral care of families to recommend heartily the recitation of the Rosary.
The family that prays together stays together. The Holy Rosary, by age-old tradition, has shown itself particularly effective as a prayer which brings the family together. Individual family members, in turning their eyes towards Jesus, also regain the ability to look one another in the eye, to communicate, to show solidarity, to forgive one another and to see their covenant of love renewed in the Spirit of God.
Many of the problems facing contemporary families, especially in economically developed societies, result from their increasing difficulty in communicating. Families seldom manage to come together, and the rare occasions when they do are often taken up with watching television. To return to the recitation of the family Rosary means filling daily life with very different images, images of the mystery of salvation: the image of the Redeemer, the image of his most Blessed Mother. The family that recites the Rosary together reproduces something of the atmosphere of the household of Nazareth: its members place Jesus at the centre, they share his joys and sorrows, they place their needs and their plans in his hands, they draw from him the hope and the strength to go on.
It is also beautiful and fruitful to entrust to this prayer the growth and development of children. Does the Rosary not follow the life of Christ, from his conception to his death, and then to his Resurrection and his glory? Parents are finding it ever more difficult to follow the lives of their children as they grow to maturity. In a society of advanced technology, of mass communications and globalization, everything has become hurried, and the cultural distance between generations is growing ever greater. The most diverse messages and the most unpredictable experiences rapidly make their way into the lives of children and adolescents, and parents can become quite anxious about the dangers their children face. At times parents suffer acute disappointment at the failure of their children to resist the seductions of the drug culture, the lure of an unbridled hedonism, the temptation to violence, and the manifold expressions of meaninglessness and despair.
To pray the Rosary for children, and even more, with children, training them from their earliest years to experience this daily “pause for prayer” with the family, is admittedly not the solution to every problem, but it is a spiritual aid which should not be underestimated. It could be objected that the Rosary seems hardly suited to the taste of children and young people of today. But perhaps the objection is directed to an impoverished method of praying it. Furthermore, without prejudice to the Rosary’s basic structure, there is nothing to stop children and young people from praying it – either within the family or in groups – with appropriate symbolic and practical aids to understanding and appreciation. Why not try it? With God’s help, a pastoral approach to youth which is positive, impassioned and creative – as shown by the World Youth Days! – is capable of achieving quite remarkable results. If the Rosary is well presented, I am sure that young people will once more surprise adults by the way they make this prayer their own and recite it with the enthusiasm typical of their age group.
(John Paul II, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, Apostolic Letter on the Most Holy Rosary (2002), no. 41-42).
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