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You may have heard about the Pope’s Monthly Intentions. Each month of the year, Pope Francis asks for our prayers for a particular purpose. During the month of March, he is asking us to pray “that we may experience the Sacrament of Reconciliation with renewed depth, to taste the infinite mercy of God.”
Lent is a perfect time to enter the confessional to celebrate the reconciling love and the healing graces from our loving God. Many parishes offer Reconciliation Services during Lent. There might be some changes this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Make sure you call your parish office or check the bulletin to obtain information.
Every week in the GROW newsletter, you will find a helpful tip for teaching your Gospel Weeklies lesson, a reflection on the Sunday Gospel, and information about our online resources and seasonal activities. Here are tips for teaching the Gospel Weeklies lessons this week:
Lesson Theme: Jesus is both human and divine.
For this week’s lesson, we will use Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar as our story. Make sure you check out a copy in advance from your local library, or if your room is equipped for video, you can find a link to an animated version below.
Note that the Gospel in Seeds doesn’t include the presence of Moses and Elijah at Jesus’ Transfiguration. Young children don’t have enough sense of biblical history to understand what the presence of these ancestors of Jesus means.
Find the story “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” here.
Lesson Theme: Jesus invites us to change and grow.
Note that the Gospel in Promise doesn’t include the presence of Moses and Elijah at Jesus’ Transfiguration. Young children don’t have enough sense of biblical history to understand what the presence of these ancestors of Jesus means.
As you discuss the Gospel, talk about the three apostles’ feelings and Jesus’ feelings when God spoke from the cloud. Help the children connect the voice from a cloud at the Transfiguration to the voice of God the Father at Jesus’ baptism (January 10). Relate their Lenten practices to showing that they are listening to Jesus.
Lesson Theme: We are God’s children.
Note that the Gathering Prayer involves some introduction. First, review that the children learned about Saint Mark in the last lesson. Note that he was one of four men (Evangelists) who wrote Gospels about Jesus. Explain that two of these men (Matthew and Luke) included Jesus teaching the Apostles the Lord’s Prayer. We suggest that you have a Bible open to Matthew’s Gospel (6:9–13). Invite the children to come forward one at a time to see the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father) as it appears in the Gospel of Matthew. Your Gathering Prayer is praying the Lord’s Prayer together. This prayer appears on page 4 of the student lesson and can be found on page 46 in the children’s Catechism handbook.
Lesson Theme: Jesus reveals himself to us.
With this lesson, you will begin several weeks of focus on the commandments. Just like the Old Testament series started last week, these lessons build on one another. The Fourth Commandment is the first commandment in this series. Remind the children that they learned the first three commandments—those that guide our relationship with God—last fall. Now they will learn the commandments that guide how we live with one another.
Lesson Theme: Jesus shows us our future.
For the cover activity for this lesson, we suggest that you fold page 1 in advance to show to the students. Do not tape it because you’ll need to unfold it to read the article on pages 2–3.
The Living the Gospel activity on pages 6–7 talks about bullying. This may bring up some tender feelings. Be sensitive if some of your students prefer to keep their answers to themselves and make sure to remind your class that they can ask a parent, teacher, or a trusted adult for help.
DON’T FORGET to check out our Unit 3 Overview Webinars. You can find them in English and in Spanish here.
Image credit: Corinne SIMON/CIRIC