“We Are Called to Be Friends with Jesus”
“Pope Francis wants me to invite Jesus to be my friend.”
“We are called to be friends with Jesus…Let Jesus also call us by name! In the depths of our hearts, let us listen to his voice which says, ‘Today I must stop at your house.’ that is, in your heart, in your life” Source: Lessons from Pope Francis for Children page 8
For Families to Share Together:
Pray the Rosary with your children. Show them how to hold the Rosary and use the crucifix to cross themselves:
“Begin with the sign of the cross, then say an Our Father, ten Hail Mary’s and a Glory Be.” From Magnifikid! Vol. 14.Part 9. Section 4
This week please add the “Apostles’ Creed” and the first of the Glorious Mysteries, “The Annunciation.”
“Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” (Luke 1:28)
Happening This Week
“Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary ” September 12
“Mary always points us to God, reminding us of God’s infinite goodness.” Source: Franciscan Media Saint of the Day
Exaltation of the Holy Cross, September 14
“The cross is today the universal image of Christian belief.” In the early days of Christianity, it was illegal to practice the Faith. The cross had to be “disguised as an anchor or the Chi-Rho until after Constantine’s edict of toleration.”
Source: Franciscan Media Saint of the Day
This week we learn about the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, Jesus Christ. We begin with Mary and the announcement from the angel, Gabriel, that she is going to have a baby, born of the Holy Spirit. Gabriel told Mary, “You are going to have a son. And you shall call him Jesus. He will be called the Son of the Most High God, and his kingdom shall last forever.” Source: Catholic Book of Bible Stories, page 92
In June, I traveled to Israel and stayed in Jerusalem for five days, before traveling to other Holy Sites. Most of the end of Jesus’ life occurred in Jerusalem. His early life started in Nazareth, when Mary learned the astonishing news from the angel, Gabriel, that she was chosen to give birth to the son of God.
My son and I and visited Nazareth, where Mary had grown up. It is a modern city now, in a beautiful hilly area that is surrounded by agricultural fields and suburban homes. It is very close to the Sea of Galilee. We visited the Basilica of the Annunciation.
“On the lower level is the most holy place – Mary’s cave, the cave in which, according to the Catholic-Christian tradition, Mary was visited by Archangel Gabriel and told her she is destined to carry the Messiah in her womb.”
The house that the Holy Family– Child Jesus, the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph— lived in is visible under the Basilica. It is an all stone excavation site with the layout of the interior visible. There would not have been soft places to sit or lay. Perhaps they had rugs or used straw. They would have had a low stone table for eating.
Mary traveled from Nazareth to a place near Jerusalem called Ein Karem – Church of the Visitation–where her much older cousin, Elizabeth lived with her husband. The walking journey varies, and is about 80-90 miles. It would have taken Mary at least nine days to walk ten miles a day. When Mary came into Elizabeth’s home, the baby inside Elizabeth leapt with joy. Elizabeth’s baby became John the Baptist, who later baptizes Jesus in the Jordan River. The Gospel of Luke tells us:
“Mary Visits Elizabeth.39During those days Mary set out and traveled to the hill country in haste to a town of Judah,40where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.41When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit,s42cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.t43And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord* should come to me?44For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.45Blessed are you who believed* that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.”u “
Conversation Ideas: Can you imagine walking all that distance? What dangers could she have faced, walking alone in a harsh, rocky environment? Who might have been looking out for her?
Read about the Nativity of Jesus on SundaySchoolUpdates.com.
Finding Jesus in the Temple is also on SundaySchoolUpdates.com.
What We Believe
“Our profession of faith begins with God, for God is the First and the Last, the beginning and the end of everything. The Credo begins with God the Father, for the Father is the first divine person of the Most Holy Trinity; our Creed begins with the creation of heaven and earth, for creation is the beginning and the foundation of all God’s works.”
—the Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 198
The Nicene Creed begins…
“I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.”
We Add the Following Stanzas:
“I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.”
Parents, please help your children understand the highlighted words.
The Greatest Commandment, Told by Jesus, Matthew, chapter 22
“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
k The second is like it:* You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Source: USCCB.org
Love God with all your heart. Love your neighbor as yourself.
Conversation Idea: Who is your neighbor? Who are neighbors to your state or city? How can you show “love” to them?
We Learn Through Reading
The Birth of Jesus Luke Chapter 2 Source: USCCB.org
The Birth of Jesus.
* In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus* that the whole world should be enrolled.
This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria.
So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town.
And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,a
to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.b
While they were there, the time came for her to have her child,
and she gave birth to her firstborn son.* She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.c
* Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock.
The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear.d
The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
* e For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.
And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:
* “Glory to God in the highestf
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Read children’s stories about “The Holy Family,” “The Annunciation,” and “The Birth of Christ” for enrichment.
“God gave us his Son to save us from our sins.”
“Thank you for sending Jesus as our Savior. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
Source: Catholic Book of Bible Stories, page 99
We Celebrate Through Song
“Good Morning, Jesus”
“I’ve Got Peace in My Heart”
We Learn Through Writing
Choose one of Jesus’s statements to his followers. Write it on a piece of paper and decorate with markers, stamps, colored pencils, etc.
“And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.” “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” “I am the resurrection and the life.” “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Please help the children shorten one, if needed.
We Celebrate Through Art
The Chi Rho is a form of the cross. Chi Rho means, “A symbol of Christ, arranged as a monogram, comprising the first two letters, XP, of his name in Greek.” Sometimes, an alpha and an omega (A and Ω) are on either side of the cross the signify the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet.
To do at home without time constraints:
Our Materials for Cut Paper Chi Rho
For a classroom with 15-20 minutes for art:
Our Materials for Watercolor Chi Rho
Draw on the paper with the crayon, then dip finger in water and rub over the crayon to liquify the watercolor. It’s fun! This takes only a few minutes to make.