Jesus, God’s Greatest Gift

Week 2 went very nicely last evening. Here are some of the highlights:

  • We met in church for an opening prayer service with the pastor. The kids were well-behaved and participated nicely. The pastor did a very nice job of encouraging the kids to put Jesus first in their lives. That took about a half-hour of the 75-minute class time.
  • Two of the boys in my group asked if they could call me “Dr. Pepper” (since I had alluded to the fact that I had completed my doctorate). I told them they could since they asked and as long as they did so with respect. I had to laugh at that.
  • Our focus in class was on: Jesus, God’s Greatest Gift. I began by inviting them to come forward in groups to “play” Where’s Waldo? I have a giant Where’s Waldo? book that they came forward to peruse, seeing if they could find Waldo in 60 seconds. It took four groups to finally locate him. I told them that people sometimes spend lots of time wondering “Where’s God?” while all along we can find him in Jesus Christ.
  • We then listened to Joan Osborne’s song, “One of Us,” in which she repeatedly (and sarcastically) sings, “What if God was one of us?” I told them that we Christians know the answer to that question because we know that God became one of us through the Incarnation of Jesus.
  • We then read from the textbook about how Jesus is God’s greatest gift to us.
  • I invited the young people to pick up their mini votive candle and to go to their sacred space (one of the girls referred to it as their sanctuaries).
  • I dimmed the lights and led them in a meditation on the Lord’s Prayer. All told it was about 15 minutes and they did well for the most part, although I will need to move a couple of them who seem to have moved their sacred spaces closer to one another! There is some antsy-ness that they will need to learn to overcome and I know they will get better in time. Also, a couple of them took to tossing their little vigil candle up and down as they listened to me leading the reflection; I’ll have to put an end to that.
  • They seem to be a very good-natured group. Lots of natural giddyness but a sheepish attitude; in other words, when they notice that I’ve noticed some mischief, they very sheepishly cease and desist (for the time-being!).

I’m excited about next week when I once again have them for the full 75 minutes and our topic is the Holy Spirit. Oh, the possibilities!

About Joe Paprocki 2301 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

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