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This Sunday, we celebrate the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord, except for the ecclesiastical provinces of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Omaha and Philadelphia, where the Ascension is observed on Thursday, May 13. Today, Jesus gives us a mandate as he ascends into Heaven to be with his Father: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” From this moment on, “the ball is in our hands.” Jesus remains the salvation of the world, but we are to be his hands, feet, eyes, and body to bring about the Kingdom of God to everyone. As we begin our summer break, let´s continue with this undertaking and be messengers of hope for our family, friends and the entire community.
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 using the Bonus Ascension Lesson, which can be found for all levels here.
Lesson Theme: Jesus is my teacher.
If you are printing this Bonus edition of Seeds and are unable to make two-sided copies, we suggest printing pages 3-4 and precutting the circles before class. You may wish to glue or tape the circles together before your class session as well.
You will need four drinking straws per child to make the flower stems for the activity on pages 3-4. Once the children have drawn pictures on the circles/flowers, help them tape them to the straws. Then ask the children to put the page with the picture of Jesus and the children (page 2) faceup on their desks. Go around the room, folding the page under on the bottom left corner (marked with a dotted line), and twisting it gently into a cone. Bring the bottom up slightly and secure with tape. You can add tissue paper or napkins to help the flowers stand up.
Lesson Theme: Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to us.
For the “Doorways of Change” game described in the Teaching Guide page TG-3, you will need index cards printed with the word pairs on either side. If you are meeting remotely, you can adjust the activity by simply calling out one word from these pairs (winter, preschool, Advent, Lent, etc.) and having the children guess what comes next (spring, kindergarten, Christmas, Easter, etc.).
Lesson Theme: We have the Spirit of Jesus.
Note that the Gospel reading on page 2 covers two Sundays: the Ascension of the Lord (May 16) and Pentecost Sunday (May 23).
Make the commissioning blessing memorable by having the children come forward, one by one, with their copy of page 2 of Good News. Print the child’s name in the space at the top of the Good News Herald and say, “(Child’s name), the Holy Spirit is with you.” The child can respond, “I will share Jesus’ Good News.”
After completing the “Jesus Sends Me Out” activity on page 4, have the children sign their names on the strip at the bottom of the page, then cut out the strip. Have them bring their strips to your closing prayer circle. Tape the bracelets around each child’s wrist as you make a small sign of the cross with your thumb on their hands. Say, “Remember, (child’s name), Jesus sends you out with his Holy Spirit.”
Lesson Theme: Jesus’ Spirit is always with us.
Students can play the “Religion Jeopardy” game in pairs, or you can group your class into larger teams and have them work together to call out “questions” as you read the answers. (You might assign an assistant to keep score.) If you are meeting remotely, simply call out the answers and challenge students to “raise hands” virtually or call out questions. After playing the game, invite the children to challenge their families by playing at home.
Lesson Theme: Jesus sends us out.
If your class meets remotely, you can adjust the cover activity by voicing one positive adjective about each of the young people. The last person you call on “tags” another person in the group, and uses a positive adjective to describe that person. The person described then tags another with a positive adjective. Continue in this manner until everyone has received at least three positive descriptions.
Remind the young people that the stained glass window activity on page 8 is an ongoing project to work on over the summer. Have the young people take turns reading aloud each activity. Pause periodically to ask if they can visualize themselves doing these activities over the summer. Ask, what might be a challenge? What might help you remember? How could you help each other get these done?
DON’T FORGET to check out all of our Late Close Lessons, where you’ll find additional, enriching lesson content covering themes of God’s Creation, the Ascension of the Lord, the Feast of Pentecost, and the Parables of Jesus. You can find them in English and in Spanish here.
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