In this post I will outline my suggestions from Sunday’s Homily (May 17, 2020) about how to strengthen your “Home Church”. During this time when we must Fast from the Eucharist, Let’s FEAST on the Word of God. As the Holy Spirit guided the early church from their homes, the Holy Spirit will guide our home church which can grow during these times of social distancing. As Jesus promised; “I will not leave you orphans…”, “I will send another Advocate, the Holy Spirit..” As the Holy Spirit descended apon the disciples in the upper room.. of perhaps a home, at Pentecost, May the Holy Spirit fill your homes, and Allow Christ to Reveal Himself to You!.
I will be adding to this post from time to time, AND I will turn on the comments to this post. Please will you share with others ways you have found helpful to grow your church at home during these times? Adding your suggestions in the comment section will help other families, so please do share!
- Make Sunday a Holy Day. Dedicate yourselves to your Home Church on this day.
- Watch the Mass on Video. Participate as you would at Mass, by standing, sitting, kneeling, and saying out loud the responses.
- Have a faith discussion with your family after the Mass. Ask some of the following questions:
- What from the Readings stood out to you, or spoke to you?
- What from the Homily spoke to you? What did you like? What did you question? Is there a message for you today in the homily or readings?
- Did the prayers speak to you? Did you hear a message in them? Are there more prayers that need to be said after our discussion during our closing prayer?
- Did you have any “God Moments” during the Mass? Times when you believe God Spoke to you? What did He say? Were their times when you felt His presence or His Love? Tell us when and what if felt like? Did you feel God’s Love? God’s Consolations?
- Wrap it all up in a closing prayer where perhaps you as a family affirm and commit to anything God is saying to you. Pray for other things or persons identified during the discussion that you feel called to pray about.
- Meet during the week someday, perhaps Wednesday or Tuesday, and read together the Readings for Next Sunday’s Mass (you can find them in the bulletin). To begin to break them open try the following suggested procedure:
- Read them out loud. (Sometimes it is helpful to just focus on the Gospel, or just the first reading and the Gospel)
- Take some time in silence while all re-read and ponder the readings.
- Ask if there are any clarifying questions: These are things about the reading that may be hard to understand; e.g. names like Samaritan, Pharisee, or Places like Galilee or Jerusalem, etc.
- Discuss what the readings were about during the time they really occurred (i.e. 2,000 years ago).
- Discuss how they might apply still today, and what they might be saying to us.
- Close in prayer, and ask for Holy Spirit to continue to open the word to you throughout the week, so that Sunday they may come alive for us and that “Our Hearts May Burn” as they are proclaimed and explained this coming Sunday.
- Decide and do community service together. E.g. Take up a collection (money, food, clothes, toys) and together donate to those whom you agree God is calling you to serve. Think of ways you can volunteer as a family to serve others in need, or make the world a better place, or promote God’s kingdom.
- I forgot to mention it Sunday, but Watch a Religious Movie together and talk about it after. Our parish subscription to formed.org has many for free? If you do not already subscribe, click on this link. https://www.ourladyofguadalupechurch.org/join-formed-org/
Peace and All Good, I know there are many other ways to grow your church home. There are many more suggestions on the web, and resources for you and your children no matter what their age. Also, please share in the comment section below, how you’ve been growing as Church in your Home. Thank You! Fr. Paul