The world and its people have a heightened awareness of the damage caused to the planet in recent decades. In 2015, Pope Francis wrote a letter to people in the whole world alerting them to the effects of climate change on the lives of people, especially to those who live in poverty. This letter is called Laudato Si’, On care of our common home. He wrote of the harmful effects of pollution, of consumerism and of the throwaway culture. Pope Francis recorded in detail what is happening to our common home. Simultaneously, he directs people towards a new lifestyle and an ecological conversion. Time will tell how far countries have come in their conversion since 2015. A major challenge lies ahead in our ecological education.
People can choose to listen or ignore the call to change. The Word of God proclaims how Jesus Christ through Peter, challenged the Israelites to repent.
The reading at Mass (Acts 3: 11-26) continues with Peter’s address to the Israelites. He asks them why they are so surprised of the miracle God worked for the lame man who sat at the gate every day. Peter tells them it was not he or John that made the man walk, but it was Jesus. Then he recounts how they had treated Jesus in his last days. They handed him over to death; disowned him in the presence of Pilate; they rejected him and killed him. However, God raised Jesus from the dead and Peter proclaimed himself and John as witnesses. The Gospel proclaims, ‘it is faith in that name that has restored this man to health, as you all can see.’
Peter tries to make excuses for them saying, ‘I know that neither you nor your leaders had any idea what you were really doing.’ Peter calls them to repentance, to turn towards God and turn away from sin. Now, Jesus comes to save us from our sins.
The Gospel (Lk 24:35-48) proclaims Jesus’ appearance to the disciples. While they were talking, he stood in their midst and offered them the gift of peace. The disciples were terrified. Jesus showed them his hands and his feet saying he was not a ghost. Their joy was so great that they were reluctant to believe, so he asked for something to eat. They gave him grilled fish and he ate it in their presence. Again, Jesus instructed them by opening ‘their minds to understand the Scriptures.’
These readings help us to have a deeper understanding of the resurrection of Jesus and to strengthen our faith in him. We continue to acknowledge our belief in God and pray an Act of Faith. We repent of our sins by turning towards God.
VERITAS provides online resources to support the teaching of the Easter stories including the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé e-books. You will find the Easter theme explored in all class standards of the Catholic primary school, available on the Grow in Love website.
- The Gloria/ An Ghlóir, The Nicene Creed/ An Chré-Nicé Chathair Chonstantín
- Care for the Earth/ Cúram don Domhan
- Act of Faith/ Gníomh Creidimh
- From your Bible or from your Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé books read ‘The Empty Tomb’ (John 20:1-10)/ ‘An Tuama Folamh’ (Eoin 20:1-10) and ‘Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene’ (John 20:11-18), ‘Íosa á thaispeáint féin do Mháire Mhaigdiléana’ (Eoin 20:11-18)
- Go outside on your street or look out the window. What signs of God’s creation can you see? Is there anything for which you might like to be thankful? Can you see any destruction caused to the environment? Is there anything you can do about that?
- On the Grow in Love website, find the video lyrics for the following songs from Fifth Class/P7 and show them to a member of your family, ‘God has Given Us the Earth’, ‘Without Seeing You’, ‘Spirit Filled Day’, ‘Regina Coeli’
Sr Anne Neylon