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Illustrations Related to Readings

Using Illustrations in the Classroom

Jesus  understood the power of story-telling and used parables to preach the Kingdom. Likewise, you will find that the illustrations found here can be used to capture student’s attention and introduce themes. However, not all illustrations may be suitable for all ages. Use discretion.
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Sunday Connections

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THUMBNAIL VIEW
Teaching authority of the Catholic Church
The ship vs. lighthouse
Teaching authority of the Catholic Church
Preachers have often used the "Ship vs. the Lighthouse" illustration to teach the dangers of inflexibility and self-importance, or the need for situational awareness.
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What would Jesus do?
The Imitation of Christ
What would Jesus do?
Fr. Donald Senior, CP in his reflection on the Sunday readings for the 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time connects the 1990's WWJD movement to the second reading.
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Walk the walk; don’t just talk the talk!
"Look at all the hypocrites who go to church..."
Walk the walk; don't just talk the talk!
The average pastoral care worker, the parish priest,or the pastoral counselor will surely have heard this frequent excuse for not going to church: “Look at all the hypocrites who go to church all the time and still exploit their neighbor and abuse the weak and the powerless.”
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Don’t complain
If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.
Don't complain
The advice of that poet Maya Angelou’s grandmother gave her dovetails with the words of the landowner in today’s gospel to those who complain: “Take what belongs to you and go.” Maya’s grandmother had very little patience with complainers. Whenever one of the town whiners would come into the store to buy anything, she made sure that Maya was called in to witness the event...
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On the Waterfront
A movie on labor problems
On the Waterfront
In the 1954 movie On the Waterfront Father Barry (Karl Malden) rallies the dock workers and encourages them to stand up to the mob. "Boys, this is my church! And if you don’t think Christ is down here on the waterfront, you’ve got another guess coming! ...He sees why some of you get picked and some of you get passed over. He sees the family men worrying about gettin’ the rent and gettin’ food in the house for the wife and the kids. He sees you..." (2:41)
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God does not call all at the same time
Second Career Vocations
God does not call all at the same time
For women and men: God's calling comes in a variety of different ways. Some callings we might not even expect. Come explore what exactly He may be calling you to...
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St. Thomas Aquinas’ Reward
"Nothing but yourself, Lord"
St. Thomas Aquinas' Reward
St. Thomas Aquinas saw our Lord appear to him and say: “You have written well of me Thomas; what reward would you have?” To which he replied, “Nothing but yourself, Lord.”
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Parish life can be unfair
Don't let envy divide your parish
Parish life can be unfair
“Life is not fair! Some have so much, without having had to do anything to deserve it. Others have so little, when they have been virtuous all their lives and have almost nothing to show for it!” We often hear this or similar comments on the inequalities of this world. Even in the Church, there are inequalities. Or, at least, some seem to have more privileges than others.
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Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Don’t allow them to turn you again into their prisoner!
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Mandela: "I hated them for what they had taken from me. Then, I sensed an inner voice saying to me, ‘Nelson! For twenty-seven years you were their prisoner, but you were always a free man! Don’t allow them to make you into a free man, only to turn you into their prisoner!''”
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September 11th Anger and Forgiveness
Ground Zero Bible
September 11th Anger and Forgiveness
Paper from a Bible, fused to a piece of steel, was found in the debris shortly after 9/11 by a fireman and given to photographer Joel Meyerowitz.
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Movie Connections

On the Waterfront
A movie on labor problems
On the Waterfront
In the 1954 movie On the Waterfront Father Barry (Karl Malden) rallies the dock workers and encourages them to stand up to the mob. "Boys, this is my church! And if you don’t think Christ is down here on the waterfront, you’ve got another guess coming! ...He sees why some of you get picked and some of you get passed over. He sees the family men worrying about gettin’ the rent and gettin’ food in the house for the wife and the kids. He sees you..." (2:41)
READ MORE
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Don’t allow them to turn you again into their prisoner!
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Mandela: "I hated them for what they had taken from me. Then, I sensed an inner voice saying to me, ‘Nelson! For twenty-seven years you were their prisoner, but you were always a free man! Don’t allow them to make you into a free man, only to turn you into their prisoner!''”
READ MORE
September 11th Anger and Forgiveness
Ground Zero Bible
September 11th Anger and Forgiveness
Paper from a Bible, fused to a piece of steel, was found in the debris shortly after 9/11 by a fireman and given to photographer Joel Meyerowitz.
READ MORE
Amish Grace
Nickel Mines Community finds meaning in hope, faith and forgiveness
Amish Grace
On October 2, 2006, a shooting occurred at the West Nickel Mines School, an Amish one-room schoolhouse in the Old Order Amish community of Nickel Mines, a village in Bart Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
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Dead Man Walking
"I must forgive"
Dead Man Walking
Sister Helen Prejean, in her book Dead Man Walking, tells the real story of Lloyd LeBlanc, a Roman Catholic layman, whose son was murdered. When he arrived in the cane field with the sheriff’s deputies to identify his son David’s body, LeBlanc immediately knelt by his boy’s body and prayed the Lord’s Prayer.
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Quo Vadis
Peter meets Christ as he flees Nero
Quo Vadis
There is an ancient legend about Peter, which became the basis for a famous novel and motion picture. At the time of the great persecution under Nero, the Christians of Rome told Peter to leave. “You’re too valuable,” they said. “Get out of town! Find your safety! Go to another place and preach the Gospel.”
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Schindler’s List
“I could have bought back two more people with this ring.”
Schindler's List
In the beginning of the story, a Czech businessman named Oskar Schindler builds a factory in occupied Poland using Jewish labor because, in those tragic days at the start of World War II, Jewish labor was cheap.
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The Shoes of the Fisherman
How a movie almost became a blueprint of John Paul II's papacy
The Shoes of the Fisherman
When the Italian pope dies in the latter part of the twentieth century, the Cardinals debate who will succeed him. Some want a conservative pope, while others feel that modern times call for a different approach so that the Church can speak to the real needs of the people.
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Lincoln
Never give up!
Lincoln
Many years ago, in Illinois, a young man with six months formal schooling to his credit, ran for an office in the legislature. As might have been expected, he was beaten.
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Gandhi
"If Christians have caste differences..."
Gandhi
M. K. Gandhi in his autobiography tells how, during his days in South Africa as a young Indian lawyer, he read the Gospels and saw in the teachings of Jesus the answer to the major problem facing the people of India, the caste system.
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Pastoral Connections

by Rev. Thimbodeau

Walk the walk; don’t just talk the talk!
"Look at all the hypocrites who go to church..."
Walk the walk; don't just talk the talk!
The average pastoral care worker, the parish priest,or the pastoral counselor will surely have heard this frequent excuse for not going to church: “Look at all the hypocrites who go to church all the time and still exploit their neighbor and abuse the weak and the powerless.”
READ MORE
Parish life can be unfair
Don't let envy divide your parish
Parish life can be unfair
“Life is not fair! Some have so much, without having had to do anything to deserve it. Others have so little, when they have been virtuous all their lives and have almost nothing to show for it!” We often hear this or similar comments on the inequalities of this world. Even in the Church, there are inequalities. Or, at least, some seem to have more privileges than others.
READ MORE
Expropriation of Church Property
Forgiving can be difficult
Expropriation of Church Property
Over the centuries, the Catholic Church has had large pieces of real estate taken from its possession and placed in private hands or turned over to other uses. The Church has always protested such expropriations and has sought through every means available to recover its losses. It is difficult simply to let go and to begin again when our property has been taken from us. When it comes to money and other assets, the Church has a hard time to forgive.
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Featured Connections

On the Waterfront
A movie on labor problems
On the Waterfront
In the 1954 movie On the Waterfront Father Barry (Karl Malden) rallies the dock workers and encourages them to stand up to the mob. "Boys, this is my church! And if you don’t think Christ is down here on the waterfront, you’ve got another guess coming! ...He sees why some of you get picked and some of you get passed over. He sees the family men worrying about gettin’ the rent and gettin’ food in the house for the wife and the kids. He sees you..." (2:41)
READ MORE
September 11th Anger and Forgiveness
Ground Zero Bible
September 11th Anger and Forgiveness
Paper from a Bible, fused to a piece of steel, was found in the debris shortly after 9/11 by a fireman and given to photographer Joel Meyerowitz.
READ MORE
Quo Vadis
Peter meets Christ as he flees Nero
Quo Vadis
There is an ancient legend about Peter, which became the basis for a famous novel and motion picture. At the time of the great persecution under Nero, the Christians of Rome told Peter to leave. “You’re too valuable,” they said. “Get out of town! Find your safety! Go to another place and preach the Gospel.”
READ MORE
Sarah Hughes (2002 Olympics)
Focus on doing, not avoiding
Sarah Hughes (2002 Olympics)
Author Zig Ziglar in his book, Better Than Good, tells about the 2002 Winter Olympic Games when sixteen‑year‑old Sarah Hughes skated her way to a gold medal. Sarah stepped on the ice, says Zig, not believing she had a chance of winning any medal, so she just skated with reckless abandon, unconcerned about the live audience, the television audience, or for that matter, the judges. She just gave it all she had. That sheer abandon she exhibited expressed the total joy she was feeling at the time and she turned in a spectacular performance, winning the gold.
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