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FROM OUR EDITORS—January 31, 2021 – 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

FROM OUR EDITORS—January 31, 2021 – 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Para la versión en español, haga clic aquí.

As we continue to endure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in our lives, it is a good time to pray for the healing of our bodies and our souls. This week, the Church celebrates the Feast of Saint Blaise, who was Bishop of Sebaste (now Turkey) and is the patron saint of people with diseases of the throat. On his feast day, many parishes bless the throats of their parishioners in a special rite, holding two unlit candles next to the person’s throat as they say a prayer seeking Saint Blaise’s intercession. May God grant us the healing we need through the intercession of this great saint.

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 has the power to heal us.

In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus freed a man from an unclean spirit. In Seeds, we focus on the fact that we can ask Jesus for help when we feel upset. The children will learn a prayer to the Holy Spirit asking for help.

We suggest that you have an aide to help the children with the “Peace Parade” activity and the Holy Spirit activity on page 4. It is a good idea to do the activity on page 4 in advance so you can use it as a model.

Lesson Theme: Jesus teaches us.

After the children cut apart the six story frames on page 3, make sure that they keep the “scrap” at bottom of the page to take home.

As you discuss the Sunday Gospel, help the children focus on why Jesus freed the man from the unclean spirit—to show us God’s love and God’s wish that we can all be free to love. Jesus’ healing miracles are signs of inner healing so that we can be fully God’s.

Some children may have difficulty drawing hearts for the Do What Jesus Says (page 23) activity in the What the Church Believes and Teaches handbook. You may wish to draw a large heart on the board as a help to them.

Find music for “This Little Light of Mine” here.

Good News
Lesson Theme: Jesus calls us to believe and act with love.

When you talk about power in this lesson, make sure the children don’t equate God’s power with human power (or their human power with God’s power!). Point out that we cannot perform miracles, but God does call us to allow his love to shine through us.

Lesson Theme: Jesus is driven by the power of God’s love.

Mailing instructions for the Dagbé letter-writing project (page 3 in the lesson) are missing from the lesson and Teaching Guide. They are as follows:

Children can create postcards or write notes to the kids at the Children’s Center in Benin. Notes do not have to be addressed to specific children and should be simple, as children in Benin do not begin learning English until middle school. Remind the children that this is not a pen pal program, and they will probably not receive letters in return, but that their expressions of care will be appreciated. They might draw a picture of themselves, write a prayer, or otherwise express their love and care. Collect all notes and mail in one envelope to the following address: Dagbé, P.O. Box 1734, Charlottesville, VA 22902. Write on the envelope: Notes of love for children of Benin from (name of your school, organization, or family).

Connect the observance of Black History Month with what the children are learning in class. Note the QR code at the bottom of page 1. Most of the videos linked in the lessons are less than five minutes long, so they could be incorporated into class. Encourage the young people to use these video links to share learning with their parents.

If you would like your students to send notes to the children in the Benin community featured in the article (pages 2–3), bring writing paper and envelopes or blank postcards.

Last week, the young people did a map study. This week in Our Catholic Faith (page 5), they will identify people from the Bible who are from different areas in Africa. If possible, bring a map to show some of the modern-day countries of Africa.

Lesson Theme: Jesus is driven by the power of God’s love.

We recommend that you divide the class in small groups to discuss the Talk questions related to the Doctrine on page 4. This should help them feel more comfortable sharing.

For the activity “What Is the Spirit of Advertising?” on pages 6–7, we suggest that you conclude your discussion in class with Step 3 and assign the questions and TV project as homework. If you wish, you could invite the students to share their work briefly next week.

DON’T FORGET to check out our Unit 3 Overview Webinars. You can find them in English and in Spanish here.

Image credit: Eugenio Hansen, OFS, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons, cropped and lightened from original

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Our Editors

David Dziena

David Dziena is the Publisher of Pflaum Publishing Group. He has also served as Executive Editor and […]

Nicholle Check
Senior Editor

Nicholle Check, senior editor, joined Pflaum Publishing Group in 2014. Throughout her 25-year career in publishing […]

Joan McKamey
Project Editor

Joan McKamey, project editor, joined the Gospel Weeklies editorial team in September 2016. […]

Erika De Urquidi
Bilingual Editor

Erika De Urquidi, bilingual editor, joined Bayard, Inc. in July 2018. During her 15 years as a professional translator […]