‘Christ the Lord has promised us the Holy Spirit: come, let us adore him, alleluia.’ (Invitatory antiphon).
In daily life, people engage in countless chats and encounters. Pre Covid-19, meetings and conversations were of a different nature than what they are presently. People spend an increased time communicating through technological devices. Many miss face to face communication. Even with two metre physical distancing it is less easy to hold a conversation. A zoom meeting or a video conference etc, are altered experiences of dialogue. Perhaps citizens will have to customise themselves to this form of meeting for longer than they might desire. Does technology allow for a true dialogue between persons?
The Gospel proclaimed at Mass today (Jn 21:15-19), is the dialogue between Jesus and Simon Peter at the lakeshore of Tiberius. In this post resurrection event, Jesus and the apostles had just finished breakfast when Jesus began a conversation with Simon Peter. Three times Jesus asked Simon Peter did he love him. Three times Peter said yes. Each time Peter declared his love for Jesus, Jesus answered him saying, ‘Feed my lambs…Look after my sheep…Feed my sheep’. Peter was a bit put out when Jesus asked him the question for a third time.
Jesus entrusts the Church to Peter, as shepherd of the flock. The first condition for Peter is to love Jesus and to give himself wholly to be leader of the flock. With Peter as leader, the disciples were called to obey his authority. The authority was given to Peter and handed on through the Church so that its mission would continue.
Jesus continues to ask disciples daily ‘do you love me?’ We are invited to ponder his question in the silence of our hearts and express that love in doing God’s will in showing compassion, mercy and generosity.
SEEK THE WORD OF GOD IN GROW AND LOVE
This Gospel passage (Jn 21:15-19) focuses on hope. The apostles thought that there was no hope after Jesus died. But with Christ’s Resurrection came new life. Sometimes in the midst of family difficulties, sickness and trauma it is difficult to find hope. Through the exploration of difficult life situations, children discover the hope that comes from trust in God, thier own strength and in the support and love of other people. In Grow in Love 8, Sixth Class, children are faced with the ‘Big Question’, ‘Is there always hope, in every situation?’ There is always hope because Jesus is alive.
Jesus was truly alive at the lake and he ate breakfast with them. From today’s Gospel, children might recall times Jesus shared a meal with people. They may remember the Last Supper and its memory in the daily celebration of the Eucharist.
The Gospel also focuses on Jesus giving authority to Peter to lead the flock. Jesus wanted an assurance that Peter loved him. Children reflect on the loving encounters with family, friends, teachers and neighbours. They recall Jesus’ love for his disciples when he chose them, called them, taught them and shared his mission with them. Children identify themselves as Jesus’ disciples and they are prompted to hear the still small voice of Jesus asking the question, ‘Do you love me?’
I wonder if children might ask ‘Why did Jesus ask the same question three times of Peter? Might they ask, did Jesus not believe Peter when he said he loved Jesus?
The images of shepherd and sheep are familiar to children in the context of the ‘Parable of the Lost Sheep’ and Psalm 23.
In Third Class/P5, children explore their belonging to a local parish community. Through activity, chat, reading Scripture, church visits, lighting candles, singing, belonging to a parish community, attending Mass and the sacraments they recognise what active participation in the Church means. From concrete experiences of helping, they recognise the importance of the service role in the Church.
Children and families respond to God’s call to serve in the Church in a variety of ways to build community and God’s kingdom. The Holy Spirit who first came at Pentecost helps disciples to continue Jesus’ mission. When the disciples were praying with Mary in the upper room the Holy Spirit came. Soon the Church will celebrate the Solemnity of Pentecost. Our Baptism calls us to share the Good News.
In Fifth Class/P7, pupils recall their experience of parish life. They research their own diocese and bishop in the hope that it will deepen their sense of belonging to the Body of Christ. They explore the role of the bishops and priests. One way men choose to serve the church is through the Sacrament of Holy Orders by which a man is ordained as deacon, priest or bishop.
In the context of today’s Gospel, children hear how Jesus appointed Peter as leader of the people. St Peter became the first Pope. In earlier Grow in Love programmes children were introduced to former popes, St John XX111, St John Paul 11 and Pope Benedict XV1. Children hear about Pope Francis’ vocation story and his teaching throughout Grow in Love.
From Junior Infants/P1 children listened to and read the accounts various accounts of the resurrection and the post resurrection stories in the four Gospels.
Many of stories are available online in the various Grow in Love e-books, with additional resources on the VERITAS website.
READ in Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé
Jn 21:1-15, 1 Corinthians 11: 23-25, Luke 24:13-35, Luke 4: 16-22,
SING with Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé
‘They’ll Know We Are Christians By Our Love’; ‘Spirit- Filled Day’; Christ Be Our Light’; ‘Connected’; ‘Wherever You Go’; ‘Grow in Love’; ‘Creation Story’; ‘Use What You’re Given’, ‘Come Holy Spirit’, ‘Trust in the Lord’, ‘The Summons’, ‘Love’,’ Alleluia’, ‘This is the Day’ ,’The Parish Anthem’
from ‘The Summons’, .
Will you come and follow me
if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know
and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown,
will you let my name be known,
will you let my life be grown
in you and you in me?
PRAY with Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé
PRAYER OF ST FRANCIS
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
where there is hatred, let me sow love
where there is injury, pardon
where there is doubt, faith
where there is despair, hope
where there is darkness, light
and where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may
not so much seek to be consoled as to console
to be understood, as to understand
to be loved, as to love
for it is in giving that we receive
and it is in pardoning that we are pardoned
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life
Críost I mo dhiaidh.
Críost ar mo lámh dheas.
Críost ar mo lámh chlé.
Críost I mo chuideachta is cuma cá dtéim.
Críost mar chara agam, anois go buan. Áiméan.
‘Jesus Christ died and has risen from the dead; he sits at the right hand of God where he lives for ever, making intercession for us, alleluia.’ (Benedictus antiphon).
‘They all persevered together in prayer with Mary, the mother of Jesus, alleluia.’ (Magnificat antiphon).
‘The Lord has set his throne in heaven; he rules, he has power everywhere.’ (Psalm 102:19)
‘The biblical texts are to be read in their context… they tell us to “till and keep” the garden of the world (cf. Gen 2:15). “Tilling” refers to cultivating, ploughing or working, while “keeping” means caring, protecting, overseeing and preserving. This implies a relationship of mutual responsibility between human beings and nature.’ (Pope Francis, Laudato Si’, no.67)
Sr Anne Neylon