Explaining the Holy Trinity

“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”—these are words we use every time we pray the Sign of the Cross. Even young children know them. The prayer expresses the mystery of the Most Holy Trinity, that God reveals himself in Three Persons: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is difficult for anyone to understand, especially young children. St. Patrick famously explained the Trinity by relating God in Three […]

Pentecost: A Renewable Source of Abundance

Imagine how you would feel if someone stepped into your life, paid off all of your debts, and set up a line of credit for you to draw from for the rest of your life! I know one thing: I’d like this person’s business card! This scenario may sound far-fetched, but in essence, this is what God has done for us, and this is what we celebrate on Pentecost. God not only relieved us of […]

A Father’s Day Message

I’m not one to claim mystical experiences of hearing God talking to me (as in actually hearing a voice and spoken words) however, I have had a couple of moments in life when I felt that God tossed a few syllables my way. One such occasion occurred some years ago on Father’s Day. Now, let’s be honest, Father’s Day pales in comparison to Mother’s Day (a cookout and a new tie often are considered sufficient […]

The Most Holy Trinity – A Feast of Heaven and Earth and Close Encounters

There seems to be no shortage of movies about the lives of human beings AFTER the earth is destroyed (Wall-E, Oblivion, After Earth, just to name a few). We seem to be resigned to the notion that our penchant for disposability will result in the eventual destruction of this planet. Unfortunately, too much of Christianity does little to combat this notion since the false notion persists that our ultimate destiny is to escape this planet […]

Teaching About the Kingdom

My lesson tonight includes the concept of God as king and of how we pray for the coming of the Kingdom. In American society, we sometimes have trouble teaching about the concept of the Kingdom of God – afterall, we won our independence from the “tyranny” of the King of England. Our present day understanding of a king is someone who is rich, powerful, self-centered,tyrannical, and arrogant. (In fact, once, on the Feast of Christ the […]

Images of the Holy Spirit

Tonight, as we begin our first of five Confirmation Intensives (class will be for two hours instead of 75 minutes, comprised of five different mini-sessions), I will be teaching about images of the Holy Spirit: water, anointing, fire, and a dove. To introduce this concept, I am bringing in a blank red octagon that I cut out of construction paper and afixed to a stick. I plan to show it to the kids and to […]

Jesus, I Want to Get to Know You

Tonight, we will complete our unit on Jesus. I have completed the PowerPoint presentation that the young people began work on in class last week which covers the various aspects of Jesus’ life and ministry: the world of Jesus, the people of Jesus, the words and actions of Jesus, and the Death and Resurrection of Jesus. I’m happy to share the PDF of the presentation: Who is Jesus – complete presentation PDF As we view the PowerPoint, […]

On Second Thought…

Last evening’s session went OK, however, as I look back over my attempt to walk the young people through the Bible in preparation for the unit on Jesus, I’m having second thoughts about my approach. Frankly, I think it was a bit beyond them to explore so many Scripture passages (as outlined in my handout)  in one swoop. As brief as most of those passages are and as easy as I thought it would be […]

Setting the Stage for Jesus

For tonight’s class, my plan is to continue walking the young people through the story of salvation history in the Bible, setting the stage for the unit on Jesus that we are beginning. You may recall that two weeks ago (we were off last week for Columbus Day), I began walking them through the story of salvation history in the Bible and, because of a few interruptions (fire drill, etc.) only got as far as […]

The Holy Spirit: Our Advocate

As I mentioned yesterday, one of the concepts we covered in Monday evening’s class was the Holy Spirit as our ADVOCATE. To help illustrate this point, I invited my aide, Lucy, to share her experience as a nurse, explaining how she advocates for patients. Here’s what happened: I first asked if anyone knew what an advocate is or what it means to advocate for someone. One of the young men responded that “it means to […]

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