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Jesus in the Wilderness
Source: USCCB.org. Matthew Chapter 4:1-11
“At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert
to be tempted by the devil.
He fasted for forty days and forty nights,
and afterwards he was hungry.
The tempter approached and said to him,
‘If you are the Son of God,
command that these stones become loaves of bread.’
He said in reply,
‘It is written:
One does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes forth
from the mouth of God.’
Then the devil took him to the holy city,
and made him stand on the parapet of the temple,
and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down.
For it is written:
He will command his angels concerning you
and with their hands they will support you,
lest you dash your foot against a stone.”
Jesus answered him,
‘Again it is written,
You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.’
Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain,
and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence,
and he said to him, “All these I shall give to you,
if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.”
At this, Jesus said to him,
‘Get away, Satan!
It is written:
The Lord, your God, shall you worship
and him alone shall you serve.'”
“Then the devil left him and, behold,
angels came and ministered to him.”
The story, below, comes after “The Baptism of Jesus” in the Bible. It is a wonderful story, and this version is written for children. Read it out loud. I am sure your family will be fascinated by the temptations the devil offers to Jesus; and the way Jesus uses Holy Scripture to triumph over the devil. Here are two questions to ask your children:
1. What name does Jesus call the devil? (Satan)
2. What word is within the word “devil” and means “bad!” (evil)
Our Reading for Children
“Jesus Is Tempted” Matthew 4:1-11
From Catholic Book of Bible Stories by Laurie Lazzaro Knowlton, Illustrated by Doris Ettlinger, Pages 112-114
“After Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit led him into the desert. Jesus didn’t eat anything for forty days and forty nights. He was very hungry.
The devil came to Jesus and said, ‘If you are God’s Son, order these stones to turn into bread.’
Jesus said, ‘Human beings can’t live on bread alone, but need every word God speaks.’
Then the devil took Jesus to the top of the temple in the holy city of Jerusalem and said, ‘If you are God’s son, jump! For the Scripture says,
‘God will give orders to his angels: they will hold you up with their hands…’
Jesus answered him saying, ‘But the Scripture also says, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’
Then the devil took Jesus to the top of a very high mountain and showed him the gold and jewels and power of all the kingdoms on the earth. But there
was one catch. The devil told Jesus he could have it all, but first, Jesus would have to kneel down and worship the devil.
’No! Jesus said, ‘Go away Satan! The Scripture says, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve only him!’
Defeated, the devil finally left Jesus. Then angels came to take care of Jesus.”
“Faith to Grow”
“In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve gave in to temptation and said yes to the devil. But Jesus showed us that we can resist the devil’s temptation. Jesus said no!”
“Dear God, help me to say no to temptation as Jesus did. In the name of the Father, and of the on, and of the Holy Spirit.”
We Follow Jesus Through The Stations Of The Cross
Every Friday during Lent people are praying the Stations of the Cross in churches, church gardens, and on-line. The Stations of the Cross are often prayed at 3:00 in the afternoon, to remember the death of our Lord, Jesus Christ at that hour. There is usually an evening “Stations,” as well.
The three books here all offer something helpful and special for different age and reading levels.
My Catholic Lent and Easter Activity Book by Jennifer Galvin, is an excellent and thorough introduction to Lent and Easter, as the title states, beginning with “An Act of Contrition” and including a coloring pages on “The Ascension” and a worksheet on “Gifts of the Holy Spirit.” Galvin’s “Stations of the Cross” on pages 16 and 17 are simple and age appropriate for younger children.
“In the Stations of the Cross, we remember how Jesus suffered and died for us. There are fourteen stations.”…”To pray the Stations of the Cross, we begin each station with this prayer:
“We adore thee, O Christ, and we bless you,
because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.” (page 16)
I highly recommend this book for families with children ages 7-10. It is a great way to learn about the life and Passion of Jesus Christ.
Stations of the Cross For Children by Julianne M. Will, Illustrated by Patricia Mattozzi for children ages 6-12, is a beautiful book. The text helps children understand how the Stations of the Cross are relevant to them:
“For us, the Stations of the Cross are a prayer journey. We read these fourteen stations to learn what happened to Jesus when he died. When we see how much Jesus suffered, we realize just how much he loved us. We can say prayers of thanks and love every step of his way. When things are tough in our own lives, we can imagine what it was like to be in his sandals.” (page 3)
“We adore you, O Christ, and we praise you, because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.” (page 4 )
I enjoyed reading this lovely book on the Stations of the Cross. The text was gently powerful and sensitive, and the illustrations are stark and stylized. Each illustration is like a beautiful icon. This is another wonderful book for a family’s library.
WALKING WITH JESUS TO CALVARY Stations of the Cross For Children by Angela M. Burrin, Illustrated by Maria Christina Lo Cascio is a beautiful and elegant book for children on the Stations of the Cross. I like how the book is organized. It begins with the question, “What Are the Stations of the Cross?”
“Jesus made a journey from the city of Jerusalem to the hill of Calvary. He carried a heavy cross along the Via Dolorosa, which means, ‘Road of Sadness.’ Jesus stopped many times before he reached Calvary, where he was crucified. The stops on Jesus’ journey are now known as the Stations of the Cross–or the Way of the Cross.” (page 6)
Before beginning reading about each of the fourteen Stations of the Cross, the reader is given information on “How to Pray the Stations of the Cross” and the list of “The Fourteen Stations of the Cross.” “The Night Before Jesus Died” sets the scene for the sorrow ahead, as Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.
“There, on his knees, he prayed, ‘Father, take this cup from me, but not my will, but yours be done.’ He prayed so hard he sweated drops of blood.” (page 8)
The author includes a message to young readers at the end of each station giving them a small inspiration or prayer to recite on their own.
This is an excellent book to read during Lent as a family.
Please note that these books are my own. I do not receive any money or benefit from any book or product that I mention in my posts. It is all a labor of love.
Our Art Project #1–Jesus in the Wilderness
Here is an angel drawing using white, silver, and gold pens on black paper—Have fun with whatever supplies you have at home to draw angels using simple lines, circles, dots, and squiggles! The heart and cross represent Jesus. If you have white computer paper at home, try using a black or other color crayon for a neat effect. Markers need a strong paper. Have fun!
Week 29–Suggested Family Activities
Please read with your children the longer version of “The Temptation of Jesus” in Matthew, Chapter 1:1-11.
Discuss this passage of Scripture with your child/children.
Art Project–Bubble Wrap Cross on Painted Background
First step–Paint watercolor paper with any color and type of paint you wish. Then, paint a sheet of bubble wrap or other fun material (aluminum foil, cardboard, etc.). Cut dry bubble wrap into the shape of a cross. Glue with Mod Podge or any white glue onto dry painted sheet of watercolor paper. I use watercolor paper for almost all my projects because it is very strong and heavy. I chose black and gray (black and white mixed for gray) for the background and black on the bubble wrap for a Lenten cross.