January 21
3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time



St. Agape (Feast Day April 3) 

d. 304 


St. Agape, St. Chionia, and St. Irene were three virgin sisters from Thessalonica, Macedonia. According to Christian tradition, Agape and her sisters were martyred for the faith in the year 304. They were convicted of possessing sacred scriptural texts despite a decree issued in 303 by the Emperor Diocletian naming such possessions a crime punishable by death. During their trial, the sisters refused to make a sacrifice to the pagan gods and were martyred. Even though it would have been seemingly easy for Agape to momentarily push her faith aside to keep her life, she said, "I believe in the living God and will not by an evil action lose all the merits of my past life." She was wise enough to know that one small evil action can have enormous consequences. 

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·    What does it mean to “believe in the Gospel”?

·    Why do you think Jesus commands us to repent?

·    Simon, Andrew, James and John all left behind their old life in order to follow Jesus. In what way are we called to leave behind our old habits and follow Jesus today?

·       Today is Word of God Sunday (see Fun Fact). In what way did St. Agape honor the Word of God? In what way can we honor the Word of God in our family?

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Preschool Games

No matter the age of your children, playing preschool games as a family can be a ton of fun! Younger kids love seeing their parents playing their games and older kids find creative and new ways to make these games new! Take some time today to play Follow the Leader, Simon Says, Red Light-Green Light, Hot Potato, Musical Chairs, or Duck, Duck, Goose.

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Catch a (Candy) Fish 

Just as Simon and Andrew cast their nets into the sea, make this fun dessert to catch some fish at home!

1 bag square snap pretzels

1 bag Hershey’s Kisses

candy fish (gummy fish, sharks, Swedish fish, etc.)—You will need at least one per pretzel

Preheat oven to 300 F. Line pretzels on a baking pan and place a candy kiss on each one. Bake for 2 to 3 minutes, until the candy kiss is glossy. Remove from the oven and place the candy fish on top of the kiss, smooshing it down. Allow the candy kiss to harden with the fish now caught in the net. Enjoy!

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Enthroning the Bible

On this Sunday of the Word of God, take some time to honor and reflect on the Word of God as a family. Set up a prayer table in a prominent place in your home where your Bible can be visibly enthroned, and your family can gather to pray. Decorate your space with fabric, a candle, flowers, etc. Open the Bible to John 8:28. 


Play a praise and worship or instrumental song. During the song, have family members bring to the table a lit candle, the Bible, and a crucifix.


[Reader reads from the enthroned Bible.]


A reading from the Gospel of John. (Jn 8:28-32)


Jesus said [to them], “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me. The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him.” Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.


Jesus then said to those Jews who believed in him, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”


Reader: The Gospel of the Lord.


All: Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.


[Take a moment to reflect on the passage.  If desired, family members can share a word that spoke to them.] 


Reader:  Lord, you are the source of every blessing.  Be with us now and whenever we read the Bible. May we strive always to be transformed into the likeness of Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns forever and ever.


All:  Amen.


Adapted from a prayer provided by St. Christopher Parish, Marysville and the Prayer for Placing Objects for Prayer and Devotion in Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers.  

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Before the Gospel is proclaimed, we make the sign of the cross on our forehead, our lips, and over our heart. What words do we say when doing this?

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Ask God to show you something for which you need to repent. Pray about this and ask God for forgiveness. Receive absolution for this sin through the sacrament of Reconciliation when you are able.

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In 2019, Pope Francis declared the Third Sunday of Ordinary Time as Sunday of the Word of God to remind the faithful to read the Bible regularly and to put God’s Word at the center of our lives.

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