The Spirit of Truth
May 24th, 2015 (see other dates)
Discussion Questions for Reading 1Before the Holy Spirit came to rest on the disciples, they were confused and fearful. They longed for the good old days when all they had to do was follow Jesus' lead. What events or persons in your life have helped you to live your faith more openly or courageously? What difference do you think the sacraments of initiation have made in your life?
Why might it be important for members of the Church to be able to communicate in many ways? Name some of the ways your parish communicates God's word in the Church and in the community.
Reading 1 Acts 2:1-11
Reading 1 ReflectionWhat would you say has been the most exciting event in your life so far? The disciples who were gathered in the upper room at the first Pentecost would have no trouble answering that question. They would immediately tell us the story of the Holy Spirit's dramatic descent on the followers of Jesus. A great, thundering wind! Tongues of scarlet fire parting over their heads! Each person filled with the Holy Spirit! Everyone suddenly speaking in languages they had never known before! What a day that was!
At Pentecost the gift of the Spirit filled the disciples with the energy and power to speak so that people from many nations could understand them. It was an event that changed the world and gave birth to the universal Church.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2Brainstorm on the chalkboard or a sheet of newsprint all the gifts, talents, and skills of the members of the class. How do you think the Holy Spirit wants these gifts to be used in the one Body of Christ? List ways of using these gifts in the family, the parish, and the world.
As the Church was filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, we were each filled with the Spirit at our Baptism. What work of the Spirit do you most want to do for the Church? For the world?
Reading 2 1 Corinthians 12:3b-7, 12-13
Reading 2 ReflectionThe game of one-upmanship can cause trouble even in religious communities. When St. Paul wrote this letter to the Corinthians, they were debating about whose spiritual gifts were better. Did those who could speak in foreign tongues have a more valuable gift than those who could prophesy? The truth is revealed in the letter. All of the gifts of the Spirit are valuable. And they are all given for the common good.
In the Spirit we are all made one in the Body of Christ. Whatever our different gifts, there is one God who produces them and makes us one.
Discussion Questions for GospelHow would you complete this statement: "To me, peace means...." Describe times when you have experienced peace. When Jesus says "Peace be with you," what do you think he has in mind?
Why is the power to forgive sins so important in the Christian community? What examples have you seen in your family or your parish of people sharing the peace of Christ?
Gospel John 20:19-23
Gospel ReflectionSome events are so life-changing that we have to keep going back to them in memory to grasp their true meaning. That's how it was with the gospel writers and the resurrection of Jesus. In this reading, John recalls the evening of the first Easter. Jesus appears in the midst of the disciples and gives them his peace. He breathes on them and gives them the breath of the Holy Spirit so that they have the power to forgive sins.
As we know from the first reading, the Spirit would be experienced again as fire and a mighty wind at Pentecost. But whatever form the Spirit takes, his gifts are intended to bring unity and peace to the Body of Christ.
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
Fruits of the SpiritOn the feast of Pentecost, the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit.
In the second reading, Saint Paul lists the fruits of the Spirit. Explain to the children that when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we will show these fruits in our lives. Saint Paul tells us that these fruits are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Discuss with the children what each of these mean.
Gather nine pieces of construction paper. Write one fruit of the Spirit on each piece. Make a circle with nine chairs. On each chair place one piece of the construction paper. Select nine children. Have them walk around the chairs as music is playing. When the music stops, have them each sit in a chair and claim the fruit listed on the construction paper. Then go around the circle and encourage each child to say what he or she can do to show how to share this fruit of the Spirit. Continue this until all children have had a turn being in the circle.
Sharing the Fruits of the SpiritHave children illustrate the fruits of the Spirit. Give each child a piece of paper. Have the children choose one of the fruits of the Spirit. Encourage them to draw or write about how they can share this fruit of the Spirit.
On the prayer table, place a large bowl. Have the children place their drawings in the bowl. Encourage the children to give thanks for these fruits.
Proclaiming Faith Activities
Imagining PeaceJesus says, "Peace be with you." Imagine that the peace of Christ is truly present in each of the following places. What does his peace look like? Describe it.
Celebrating the SpiritThis is a day to celebrate and thank the Holy Spirit for all our unique and wonderful gifts.
Using any available materials, make large red or orange Pentecost symbols (paper tongues of fire, kites or windsocks, decorated balloons or pinwheels) to be displayed outdoors.
On each symbol write three gifts of the Spirit you have been given for the common good.
If possible, attach your symbols to dowels or streamers. Carry them in an outdoor procession, relay race, or circle dance.
For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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