EXPLORE THE SUNDAY GOSPEL
MEET OUR EXTENDED FAMILY
St. Victoria of Albitina (Feast Day February 12)
St. Victoria of Albitina was born in North Africa. She converted to Christianity when she was still a youth. Victoria refused an arranged marriage to a young nobleman and on her wedding day she escaped through a window in her parents’ house. She sought refuge in a nearby church and there dedicated her life to God.
Her pagan brother tried to intercede with the judge by claiming she was insane; she disproved this by engaging in a debate with the judge. The judge was willing to release her if she agreed to her brother’s supervision, but she refused, saying she would obey only God. The judge, knowing her family, pleaded with her to not throw away her life on what he considered a fantasy; she proclaimed that she was a Christian, that she was loyal to God, and that she had taken part in the Eucharist. She was noted during her imprisonment for her courage. She was later martyred with 45 fellow parishioners.
TAKE TIME TO CHAT
· Consider the leper in today’s Gospel story. How strong was his faith in Jesus? How easy or hard is it to have faith today?
· Why do you think Jesus didn’t want the leper to tell anyone except the priest that he was healed?
· Why do you think the man told everyone anyway?
· St. Victoria of Albitina dedicated her life to God at a young age. What do you think inspires someone to devote their life to God? In what way have you dedicated your life to God?
Kindness Scavenger Hunt
As we approach St. Valentine’s Day this week, find ways to love by doing a Random Acts of Kindness Scavenger Hunt. As a family, create a checklist of 15 random acts of kindness and distribute the checklist to each family member. The object of the game is to complete all of the random acts of kindness by the end of the week. At the end of the week, spend time over a special dinner or dessert sharing what you did throughout the week and how it made everyone feel. Discuss which tasks were easiest and which were most difficult.
• Assist with making a meal.
• Call a family member and tell them “I love you!”
• Clean out old toys and books for donation to goodwill.
• Do someone’s chores.
• Donate food to a local food pantry.
• Draw a picture or write a note to someone you don’t see often letting them know you are thinking of them.
• Give someone a compliment.
• Give someone a high five.
• Give someone a hug.
• Help with cleaning-up, even if you didn’t help make the mess.
• Hold a door for someone.
• Let someone else pick the game you play.
• Make someone laugh.
• Push in the chairs at the table.
• Read a story to someone.
• Share your toys with someone.
RECIPE OF THE WEEK
Chocolate Mint Icebox Cake
Enjoy this sweet treat before Lent begins on Wednesday!
1 package (9 ounces) chocolate wafers
1 ¾ cups chilled heavy cream
¾ tsp. mint extract
1 cup miniature chocolate chips
¼ cup sugar
Make the mint cream: With an electric mixer, beat heavy cream, sugar, and mint extract until stiff peaks form.
Line a serving platter with two sheets of wax paper side by side. Assemble the cake: Spread each wafer with about ½ Tbsp. mint cream, forming stacks. Lay stacks horizontally along seam of wax paper, pressing gently to form a log. With a small spatula or knife, cover log with remaining cream. Refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 2 days. To serve, gently remove wax paper from underneath cake (holding cake in place with a metal spatula if necessary). Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Slice cake diagonally with a serrated knife. Serves 8.
Prayer for Black History Month
During Black History Month, we remember the importance of hearing the stories of others.
Spirit of Abundance, God of Grace, Mother of Hope,
We pause now to remember those stories that are all around us,
But so often passed over,
Those stories that when told are shared because
Of what someone is, not who they are.
This month in our nation's character
Is Black History month.
Help us to realize that Black history is
All our histories.
May the day come when these stories
Are so wildly taught that no month need
Be separately divided.
We know this day will not come until we as a people
Make different choices.
We pray now for those new choices.
May we come to see a day where the prison system
Becomes redemptive, not punitive.
A day where the legal system learns to focus more squarely on the facts,
And the not colors of our skin.
A day where our schools are as well funded, as the needs demand.
May our role models be allowed to excel when they thrive,
And not be taken down for their rich heritage.
We know this will require a shift in power.
And this can be scary for some.
Give those full of fear - hope.
May we come to know grace,
So that our hearts will not be hardened to the pain around us.
There are so many beautiful stories needing to be told.
And we need to get the chance to hear them.
Widen our vision so that the history that is shared this month,
And every month,
Come to be known as our history too.
We are most human when we see the humanity in others.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus shows mercy to the leper. In what part of Mass do we ask Jesus to have mercy on us? What are the words we say at Mass when we ask for mercy?
Discuss as a family something that you either want to give up or take on that will help you to be more like Christ during the season of Lent. This year, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, February 14th.
Leprosy (Hansen’s disease) is an infectious disease caused by a slow-growing bacteria. If left untreated, it can cause nerve damage that can result in crippling of hands and feet, paralysis, and blindness. The bacteria that causes leprosy was discovered by G. H. Armauer Hansen in Norway in 1873. The first effective treatment (promin) became available in the 1940s. In the 1950s, dapsone was introduced.