Next Up for Family Catechesis at St. Barnabas: Jesus

Finding God Family Catechesis tools

Our next session of Family Catechesis at St. Barnabas will take place on Sunday, October 29, as we venture into the second unit of Finding God, which focuses on Jesus. Specifically, our theme will be, “To Whom Can I Turn? Jesus: Fully Human, Fully Divine.”

After our setting up of the prayer space and opening prayer, the session will begin by inviting families to discuss examples of unexpected problems or challenges that their families faced that required expert assistance (e.g., a plumber to fix a leak, an auto mechanic to repair a car, a dentist to repair a cavity, or a tutor to help with schoolwork) and how it makes us feel more confident if the expert has credentials that prove qualifications. We will use that discussion to explain that, when we ourselves need to be repaired, fixed, or tended to spiritually, we can turn to Jesus, because he is fully human and fully divine. (He’s got the credentials!)

After the children and catechists are dismissed to delve into the first chapter of the Jesus unit, I plan to use the first 10 minutes of our time with the parents to have a conversation about how the home faith formation sessions are going and to see what’s working and what challenges parents may be experiencing that Deacon Andy and I and/or the other parents might be able to help with.

I also plan to ask if any parents would be willing either to invite me into their home to watch a family faith formation session in action or sit down with me for an interview about their experience of doing faith formation with their children at home so that I can blog about it here at Catechist’s Journey.

As for the parent session itself, we will focus on the humanity and divinity of Jesus. We’ll emphasize that we can turn to him in the midst of life’s challenges, knowing that since he is fully human and suffered greatly, he can relate to us, and being fully divine, he alone is capable of sustaining us with divine grace.

During the session, there will be an opportunity for parents to enter into conversation with one another to discuss the questions: What kinds of challenges do children face? How does knowing that Jesus is fully human help our children turn to him?

Using the PowerPoint presentation that comes with the Finding God Family Catechesis program, I will provide input on the humanity and divinity of Jesus and will begin by focusing on Jesus as our Savior—someone whose “credentials” reflect that he is fully human and fully divine. From there, we will focus on the following:

  • Jesus’ name means “God saves.”
  • The name Christ means “the anointed one.”
  • Like an athlete who reveals his or her talents and abilities to scouts in hopes of being drafted, Jesus revealed “what he is made of” through his life, teachings, and actions.
  • In the Nicene Creed, we proclaim that Jesus is fully human and fully divine.
  • Jesus became human through the Incarnation and was raised in a family.
  • Jesus revealed his humanity through his compassion and, ultimately, through his suffering and Death (so he knows what it means to suffer).
  • Jesus revealed his divinity through his mighty deeds, or miracles. We will focus on what many consider Jesus’ greatest miracle, the raising of Lazarus, and will show the following video excerpt, which is embedded in the slide presentation. It’s from the epic series, Jesus of Nazareth.

  • We use the word consubstantial to express our understanding of Jesus sharing the very essence of God the Father.
  • The ultimate revealing moment of Jesus’ divinity is his Resurrection.

The overall message to parents is that they can help their children understand that Jesus is someone they can trust, because Jesus is one of us. He is fully human; he knows what we are going through. He understands suffering and is compassionate, loving, and approachable. Likewise, they can and should turn to Jesus when they are unable to help (“fix”) themselves, because Jesus is fully divine and has defeated sin and death.

We will end by praying together the Nicene Creed.

About Joe Paprocki 2745 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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