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RCIA – Holy Family (B)

Top Planning Resources for Sunday


by Larry Broding

The scrapbook of faith

While our post-holiday downturns may not be a traumatic as the upheaval the Holy Family suffered, we can still sense some of their anxiety. And, we can have hope that our downturns, like theirs, have a place in God’s plan. — Larry Broding


Respect for parents

The fourth commandment is based upon a deeper command from God: love others as self. Love assumes and builds up respect. How have you shown love and respect to your family members? How have you expected such treatment in return?


Family blessing

How is your family a blessing to you?


What we bring to the Lord’s table

What do you bring to Mass on Sunday? Baggage and a fighting spirit? Or a thankful heart? Honestly reflect on the quality of your worship. Ask God to heal the hurt. Place all burdens in his hands. And thank him for his grace.


The Jewish Christ of the underclass

How do people try to hold to the spirit of the Christmas? Have you ever experienced God in church, but in way unexpected? Has God ever caught you by surprise, yet in a way that gave new insight? Have children ever caused you to wonder? What happened?
©1999-2020 Larry Broding. Material may be copied for personal use or for use in any non-profit ministry. Materials may not be sold or used for personal financial gain.

Living the Word

by Fr. Frank Bird, sm

Hearing and living the Sunday readings

Discussion Guide

Los Angeles Bishop David O'Connel provides PDFs of the Sunday Gospel Reading and also instructions on how to use this Gospel Reflection Process. PDF’s are available in both English and Spanish.


Introductory video to this Sunday by Larry Broding at Word-Sunday.com.

RCIA Questions

4B Advent

Directions: On this page you will find questions on the Sunday Readings that can be used in RCIA or Faith Sharing groups. Clicking on the PDF icons at bottom right will  give participants additional commentary and resources.

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Small Group Questions (Option A)

by Fr. Eamon Tobin

1.  Share with the group or person next to you what spoke to you most in the Gospel. With this first question try to refrain from commenting on what others said. Just share what spoke to you and then move on to the next person.

2.In the Gospel, Simeon says to Mary that a ‘sword of sorrow’ would pierce her heart because of Jesus. Can you name a‘sword of sorrow’ that you have had to deal with,and what helped you carry that cross?

3.Who are the Simeons and Annas in your life, the prophetic speakers of God’s word and the prayer warriors?

4.As you look back to the family you grew up in, what was the faith atmosphere like?

5.What one word of wisdom can you offer to families today?

6.Name one thing today’s Gospel says so us that we disciples of Jesus need to heed and act on.

©2020 Fr. Eamon Tobin. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Small Group Questions (Option B)

by Fr. Bauer
  1. In our Gospel we are told that Mary and Joseph fulfilled the prescriptions of the law.  Are there any customs/traditions that are followed in your family?
  2. How do the qualities/characteristics articulated by Paul in our second reading today find expression in your relationships?
  3. What is your definition of “family?”
© 2020 The Basilica of Saint Mary | All rights reserved.

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Discussion Questions

by Fr. Clement Thibodeau

1. What are some of the issues which challenge family living today? Are you familiar with what difficulties parents encounter today in raising children? What are some of the relationship problems which husbands and wives deal with in their marriage? What benefits can come to those challenged families from these passages of Scripture?

2. What does your parish have to offer which helps and supports families in their God-given tasks of living the Christian life? Do you have a sense that your parish truly cares about what happens to good families and about how faltering families can be helped effectively? Is there an environment which at least does no violence to family growth in spirituality and virtue? Are your worship services ‘child-friendly,’ welcoming to families with small children?

3. Reflect on your family of origin. What was helpful and what was not helpful in the development of a solid faith in Christ for your own adult living?Was it your experience within your family that authentic personal spirituality was encouraged and fostered? Or was it just a question of rigid external conformity with rules and regulations which seemed to predominate? How have you been able to grow spiritually beyond the limited experience of the family in which you were raised?

© 2017 Portland Diocese / Father Clement D. Thibodeau. Used with permission.

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Bible Study Questions

by Vince Contreras

1. In light of the 1streading, in what condition is your relationship with your parents (regardless of how old you are)? If you are married, keeping in mind the 2ndreading, how well do you respect your spouse?

2. Of all the virtues listed in the 2ndreading, which are most and least characteristic of you? (How readily would your closest friend agree with your assessment?)

3. In the Gospel reading, what Mosaic laws are being fulfilled in the Presentation (Leviticus 12:1-8; Exodus 13:2, 12, 14)? How do these events foreshadow Jesus’ mission?

4. What impact would the startling predictions by Anna and Simeon have on all who were listening that day? On Mary and Joseph as they returned home (verses 33-39)?

5. Why do you think Luke included this episode in his Gospel? How did Luke know about this, and other details surrounding Jesus’ birth and childhood (see verse 51)?

6. While it may be easy to see how Jesus might be “set for the rise of many” (verses 34-35), how might he be destined for their fall? In what ways has Jesus and his message been a stumbling block for you? How have you surmounted the problems?

© 2011 Sunday Scripture Study for Catholics by Vince Contreras. Used with permission.

Team RCIA Videos

About TeamRCIA
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