Catholic Family Meeting {Prep for Palm/Passion Sunday - Cycle B}

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

This Sunday is known as Palm or Passion Sunday, and it marks the beginning of Holy Week.  It is really important to prepare our families for this mass for several reasons:
  1. There will be two gospels read, one at the beginning of mass with Jesus entering Jerusalem (with people waving palms) and the other during the Liturgy of the Word.
  2. The gospel reading of Jesus' passion and crucifixion will be read and it will be long.  If children can follow along, it will be easier for them...well, for everyone!
  3. As it is still Lent and the focus is on Jesus' passion and death, it is a solemn occasion.
  4. Your children will be given a palm, which without any guidance, could will become a toy, a way to harass their sister, or an origami lesson.
I will hopefully remember to talk with my girls about what to do with the palms, which of course can be folded later...

There are also lots of great ways to prepare our kids for Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter linked in the slideshow for this week.  I know my family is really anticipating them after all these weeks of Lent. :)

Catholic Family Meeting {Prep for 5th Sunday of Lent - Cycle B}

Monday, March 16, 2015

I cannot believe it is already the 5th Sunday of Lent!  I'm in a need of a little refocusing on my Lenten goals and putting God first, even when (or especially when) things get hectic.  

This week's readings explained very well by Loyola Press' website here, and all three readings are preparing us for Jesus' passion.  The gospel reading will definitely need some explanation for children (and of course, I needed it too!), as Jesus tells His disciples:

Does God really call us to hate our life?  

To children, this will be quite confusing.  What Jesus wants is for us to be detached from the things of this world.  He wants us to have an eternal perspective, and to put our love of God first.  

The awesome thing about this is that as you detach yourself from worldly things and cares, you come to love life even more.  

What a wonderful lesson to teach our children, especially if yours are like mine and have every creature comfort and live a very privileged life.  And I need to relearn this lesson everyday to keep myself from living the way of the world, attached to possessions, comforts, and even people.

Catholic Family Meeting {Prep for Fourth Sunday of Lent- Year B}

Thursday, March 12, 2015

It's another busy week over here!  So...I'm going to be brief. 

This week's gospel is centered on John 3:16.  When I think of John 3:16, I think of...Tim Tebow

Because interestingly enough, this ^ on Tim Tebow's face was my first introduction to this scripture verse.  But what an awesome verse to know and remind ourselves of when life has become overwhelming.

My 6 year old daughter already has it memorized thanks to our family meeting in the fall when we read this same gospel reading and we sang along to the song (linked in this week's slideshow).  

This week's readings focus on God's greatest gift to us: Jesus.  The light of the world.  They are a reminder that God is merciful and forgiving.  All we have to do is ask, and we shall receive.

Catholic Family Meeting {Prep for 3rd Sunday in Lent - Cycle B}

Monday, March 2, 2015

As you may have noticed in the title, I'm changing up how the family meetings are organized.  Rather than listing the date of the upcoming Sunday, I will put the liturgical day and cycle.  This should make it easier to use these again the future.

This week's gospel reading is the story of Jesus cleansing the temple.  I like this story as it shows a different side of Jesus that many people don't realize exists.  Our culture likes a light, fluffy, hippie Jesus who is fine with anything you do as long as you "love" others or believe in "peace".  Of course Jesus wants us to love others, but loving others includes upholding Truth.  When Jesus saw people disrespecting his Father's home and not following God's commandments, he acted with righteous anger.  He overturned tables and ran the animals out of the temple, all while brandishing a whip. Definitely not "light, fluffy, hippie Jesus".  

During Lent it is especially important to reflect on how we live our lives and whether we are putting God first and living the way He wants.  This reading reminds us to stay focused on God in all we do and to  honor God in our prayer and worship.