Year C: March 17, 2013
First Reading: Isaiah 43:16-21
Demolition by Sally Sutton
(Written for ages 3-6)
Comment: In her commentary on the text, Kristen Johnston Largen asks, “can we hope that God is still at work in our lives, creating a future for us where no future seems possible?” (Feasting on the Word, Year C, Volume 2, p 126) If we are to believe the word spoken by Isaiah, the answer is yes. Where we might bemoan a hopeless future, God responds, “I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?” God takes the things of old and makes them into something new, giving us a future full or hope and promise. This vision of turning the old into new can be seen in the book Demolition. Readers watch the destruction and recycling of an old abandoned building, and experience the joy of the bright new playground that is established in its place. This story and the text from Isaiah help us to explore the places where we see God doing new things.
Second Reading: Philippians 3:4b-14
Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie dePaola
(Written for ages 5-9)
Comment: “Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ… For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things… in order that I may gain Christ.” Paul shares his personal story with the Philippians in order to help them recognize the value of faith in, and belonging to Christ. Though he had plenty in life to boast about, he set it all aside for Christ. This text extends an invitation to share stories of people who have set things aside in their own lives to follow Christ. Patrick, the saint of Ireland, is one of these people. He had the option to live comfortably with his family in Britain, yet he left the life he loved behind in order to share the love of Christ with the Irish people.
Gospel Reading: John 12:1-8
Thank You Bear by Greg Foley
(Written for ages 3-6)
Comment: Everyone has an opinion when it comes to gift giving. Certainly questions came up when Mary gave Jesus the gift of nard and anointed his feet. Judas was quick to point out that this was a waste of money. Maybe others in the room were asking questions as well. Why did she give it? What was her motive? Was it appropriate? Bear comes up against questions when he finds the perfect gift for mouse. Others are quick to point out problems with the gift, leaving Bear to wonder if it’s so great after all. Perhaps Mary also paused to wonder about her gift as Judas criticized it. In both stories, love is at the root of giving, and love is expressed in the receiving. As we reflect upon our own offerings, may love remain central to both our giving and receiving.
The Lectionary Links this week were written by regular contributor Noell Rathbun-Cook.