The Prophets Give Hope

My lesson for tonight dovetails nicely with last week’s session since we are continuing to talk about the Prophets. Last week, we focused on how the Prophets challenged the People of Israel. This week, we look at how the Prophets spoke words of HOPE to the People when they were in Exile and as they returned to their destroyed homeland. You may recognize the Works of Mercy exercise from a lesson I did a couple […]

Imagination: Hope’s Prerequisite

One of the lines I miss most from the Mass (in the wake of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal) is “we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.” I love the concept of waiting in joyful hope and I believe that is what is at the heart of Advent. This hope is joyful because it’s not just wishful thinking; it is confident hope. We confidently hope in the […]

Chronic Hope

As we head into this weekend and prepare to celebrate the 5th Sunday of Lent, I wanted to share a message of hope with you. It comes from a blog called Chronic Hope and I found it very inspiring. I’ll let the author of the blog speak for herself. Check it out and have a great weekend!  Chronic Hope

Advent Imagination: Wouldn’t That be Great?

One of my favorite movie quotes is from Breaking Away when Daniel Stern’s character, Cyril, daydreams out loud to his buddies: “You know what I’d like to be?  A cartoon of some kind.  You know, like when they get hit in the head with a frying pan or something, and their head looks like the frying pan, with the handle and everything?  They just go boi-ing—and their head comes back to normal?  Wouldn’t that be […]

Calling an Audible

If you know anything about football, you know that sometimes, after a play is designed in the huddle and the team lines up to snap the ball, the quarterback may see something he didn’t expect and doesn’t like. At that point, he calls an audible…he changes the play on the fly. This is something that can only be done if the team has prepared well and knows what the alternative plays are. In religious education, […]

God Is Our Father

Here’s what I’m planning for this coming Monday’s session: Theme (from textbook) – God is Our Father Big Idea: We can trust God our Father to protect us The session focuses on how Jesus taught us to call God our Father and how we pray for the coming of the Kingdom. A king is someone who leads and protects his people. We can trust God to lead and protect us from sin. God arms us […]

An Evening of HOPE

Last evening’s class went very nicely. I was especially grateful for the very relaxed rapport that the 8th graders seem to have developed with me. They are upbeat and pleasant, smiling and talking with one another and with me. They genuinely seem to enjoy being there and we seem to be very comfortable with each other. With Advent beginning, our focus was on the theme of HOPE. Because of the good vibes, we were able […]

Advent: Who’s Coming?

As we began class on Monday, I pointed to the prayer center and asked, “Does anyone notice anything different?” After a short pause, one of the girls pointed to the purple cloth and said, “There’s purple for Advent.” I complimented her on being so observant and then asked, “So, what does the word Advent mean?” No one knew (or at least no one volunteered an answer!). Then, I gave an example. Our aide, Ben, had […]

Advent Hope

Tonight is an opportunity to spend some time with the young people focusing on the notion of HOPE as we proceed through this first week of Advent. I picked up a few copies of the daily newspapers and will distribute sections to each of the young people, asking them to find a “bad news” story and to tear it out and prepare to describe it to the group. We’ll collect these stories on the table […]

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