EXPLORE THE SUNDAY GOSPEL
MEET OUR EXTENDED FAMILY
St. Fabian (Feast Day January 20)
Fabian was a layman who came into the city of Rome from his farm one day as people were preparing to elect a new pope. Fabian may have come for the same reason many still come to Rome today during a papal election: concern for the future of the faith, curiosity about the new pope, and a desire to grieve for the pope who had passed. Many important people gathered to make this momentous decision. During the deliberations, a dove descended from the ceiling and settled on the head of Fabian. The people interpreted this as a sign that Fabian was worthy to be pope, and much to Fabian’s surprise, he was elected.
With Fabian’s election, the Church entered a time of peace and Fabian was able to build up the structure of the Church of Rome. The emperor at the time, Philip, was friendly to Christians; the persecution stopped, and Christians gained acceptance. However, when Philip died, so did the time of peace. The new emperor, Decius, ordered all Christians to deny Christ. Many didn’t have the courage to stand up for their faith, but Fabian did. He died a martyr in the year 250.
TAKE TIME TO CHAT
· At the beginning of today’s Gospel passage, the two disciples heard John’s proclamation and followed Jesus. Why do you think they followed him?
· Jesus asked the disciples what they were looking for. What would you say if Jesus asked you the same question?
· What was it like for these disciples to meet Jesus? Have you met Jesus? If so, what was that like?
· What similarities do you see between Cephas (Peter) and St. Fabian?
Change the World One Hand at a Time
Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be celebrated on Monday, January 15th this year. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a passionate preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in word and example, and a martyr for justice. This craft can help you reflect on how you can change the world with the gifts God has given you and the desires he has placed in your heart.
Use a map or draw a large picture of the world. Individually, trace your hand on construction paper and cut it out. Write on the hand what you feel you could do now to help change the world, considering what God is asking of you. Assist younger children with this project if needed. Decorate the hands as desired. Place all the hand cutouts on the picture of the world. Place it in a visible location as a reminder of what you want to do and encourage each other to accomplish your goals.
RECIPE OF THE WEEK
Easy Lamb Chops
the Fun Fact to learn more about why lamb is part of the Passover meal.
8 - 1/2-inch-thick lamb loin chops (about 2 pounds), fatty tips trimmed
salt and freshly ground pepper
pinch of dried thyme
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. of minced garlic
1 sliced onion
3 Tbsp. red wine or water
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp. minced parsley
pinch of crushed red pepper
Season the lamb with salt and pepper and sprinkle lightly with thyme. In a very large skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the lamb chops and garlic and cook over moderately high heat until the chops are browned on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Turn the chops, add onion and cook until the chops are browned, (about 2 minutes longer for medium meat). Transfer the chops to plates, leaving the garlic in the skillet.
Add the water, lemon juice, parsley and crushed red pepper to the pan and cook, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom, until sizzling, about 1 minute. Pour the pan sauce over the lamb chops and serve immediately.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus changes Simon’s name to Peter and gives him a special role in the early Church. Today’s prayer will use Lectio Divina to help you reflect on the fact that Jesus calls you by name as well.
Lectio Divina (Latin: “divine reading”) is a way of developing a closer relationship with God by reflecting prayerfully on his words in Sacred Scripture. In Lectio Divina, the chosen passage is read three times in total, giving an opportunity to think deeply about it and respond thoughtfully.
Choose a reader for the passage below. After each reading, allow for a minute or two of silence to let the words sink in. Listen for any words or phrases that seem to jump out. After the third reading, pray about what God is calling you to focus on today. Family members are invited to share their experience afterward. This formula can be used for any Scripture passage.
Promises of Redemption and Restoration
But now, thus says the LORD,
who created you, Jacob, and formed you, Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name: you are mine.
When you pass through waters, I will be with you;
through rivers, you shall not be swept away.
When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned
nor will flames consume you.
For I, the LORD, am your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your savior.
I give Egypt as ransom for you,
Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my eyes
and honored, and I love you.
In today’s Gospel, John said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” This phrase is spoken by the priest at a particular point at Mass. When does he say it?
Andrew introduced his brother, Simon Peter, to Jesus. Ask God to show you one person who doesn’t know Jesus and to give you the opportunity to talk to that person. Tell that person about Jesus. Share about your experience at your next family meal.
In the Old Covenant, the Jews sacrificed a lamb and ate its roasted flesh to celebrate Passover. Passover commemorates the time when God freed the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. Jesus established the New Covenant, when he sacrificed himself (instead of a lamb) on the cross to free us from sin. This is why we call Jesus the Lamb of God.