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Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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Lectionary: 86
Read: Mark 2:23—3:6

Gospel Summary

The focus of today’s gospel is the command to keep holy the Lord’s Day, which is an expression of the love and goodness of God. The gospel recounts two events that happened on a Sabbath — the disciples of Jesus picking grain to eat and Jesus curing a man with a withered hand.  On both of these occasions, the Pharisees question Jesus’ actions. In the first example of the disciples picking grain on the Sabbath, Jesus responds that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.  In the second example of Jesus curing the man with the withered hand, Jesus responds by turning the question back to the Pharisees to answer: Is it better to do good on the Sabbath rather than do bad, better to save a life rather than destroy it?  Jesus reminds us of the true meaning of keeping the Lord’s Day holy — it is an expression of both the love and the goodness of God. 

Reflection for Families

Jesus sums up the importance of Sunday, the Lord’s Day, when he says, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath” (Mark 2:27). What is it that we do to keep the Lord’s Day holy?  Is Sunday Mass a weekly top priority for us, or do we find excuses not to worship God during the Mass? Do our Sunday activities express our love for God?

The generous goodness of God is all around us. Do our activities celebrate the goodness of God?  Or is Sunday an extra day to get caught up on all the things that we didn’t do the past week? 

Jesus said that the Sabbath was a day to do good. As the first three Commandments tell us, the greatest good we can do is to love God above all else. And so as Catholics, we show our love for God in the most profound way by worshipping him in the Mass.

Bringing the Gospel into Your Family

On a large sheet of paper, write all those things (or as many as you can remember!) that the family did over the last two or three Sundays.  You may either make a list, or put the paper in the center of the table and have everybody randomly write on the paper what they did. 

Then review all the things that the family did and circle those that showed that Sunday was a day celebrating the goodness of God in our lives.  Cross out those that might not have been the best use of time on a Sunday.

Finally, on a brand new sheet of paper, write a schedule for what your family will do on the next Sunday so that you are truly able to spend Sunday, the Lord’s Day, as a day celebrating God and his loving goodness. 

Discussion Starters 

  1. One of the best things about Sunday with my family is . . . .
  2. One thing our family is going to do to keep Sunday holy is . . . .
  3. One thing our family will do to participate more fully at Mass on Sunday is . . . .

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