‘The Lord is truly risen, alleluia.’ (Invitatory antiphon)
The Word of God this Easter season fills God’s people with joy, life, hope and love. In the Church, the Paschal Candle is lighting. It represents the light of Christ coming into the world. Faith is a gift, received at Baptism. In faith, we believe in God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit (The Trinity). The children in school are taught about The Mystery of the Blessed Trinity in Third Class/P5 upwards (Grow in Love 5, P5).
The priest reads from the Gospel of St John today at Mass (Jn 3:31-36). In addition to reading the Scripture passages from the Bible, one can hear the Gospel read at Mass on the webcam. It is possible to tune into the celebration of the Eucharist at many different times and places during the day. Even if your parish doesn’t have a webcam, it is possible to log on to a webcam in another parish on your phone or computer.
You will also hear a reading from the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 5:27-33) and also verses from Psalm 33:2, 9, 17-20. ‘Alleluia’ will be said or sung at the Gospel Acclamation.
In the Gospel (Jn 3:31-36) we hear of those who see the world with worldly eyes. There are also those who see it ‘from above’. Even though Jesus is in the world he comes ‘from above’. In this Scripture passage, John the Baptist testifies as a human being because he recognises Jesus is the Word. Jesus is sent by God to speak the Word of God.
Jesus ‘testifies’ (witnesses) to what he has seen and heard in heaven through his relationship with God, his Father. God loves us so much that he sent his Son, Jesus and anointed him with the Spirit. People who live in and of the world don’t accept Jesus’ testimony.
Those who listen and accept Jesus’ testimony know God is true. They trust God and accept his plan for building the kingdom and for saving the world. God sent Jesus to speak his Word and to carry out a mission as we know from St Luke’s Gospel.
Jesus in the synagogue read from the scroll of the prophet Isaiah; “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,’ (Lk 4:18-19). This text is in the e-book of GIL 6, Fourth Class/P6. It is also a text used in the preparation for pupils for the sacrament of Confirmation.
God filled Jesus with the Spirit and his people are also offered the Spirit ‘without measure’. God is always present to those who believe in Jesus and assures them of everlasting love in this world and for eternal life. This is why Jesus tells us, ‘Do not be afraid.’ We can trust God always and we walk in the light as we follow Jesus. Some people choose to walk in darkness and therefore they do not follow the light. The Holy Spirit helps us to walk in the light and to make good choices.
God sent Jesus to speak the words of God. The children explore some of Jesus’ teachings in the Grow in Love programme in the various class levels.
‘Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.’(John 13:34).
‘Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Whoever loves is a child of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.’
‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind’ and ‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself.’ (Luke 10:27).
‘Do for others what you want them to do for you.’ (Luke 6:31).
OTHER TEACHINGS OF JESUS
Jesus also taught the people about prayer and how to pray, about fasting, about almsgiving and about forgiveness. He taught his disciples the ‘Our Father’. God invites us to believe in Jesus. We cannot do this on our own but we receive help from God when we pray, when we follow Jesus, when we receive the sacraments and when we do God’s will by reaching out to our families and friends in a loving way.
These Scripture readings on Jesus’ teaching on love may be read from the New Testament of the Bible or they may be accessed on the e-books of the Veritas website:
Songs suitable for this time include ‘Love’ (GIL5, Third Class/ P5) ‘The Neighbour Song’ (GIL5, Third Class/ P5), ‘Grow in Love’ (GIL5, Third Class/ P5), ‘The Great Commandment’ (GIL 6, Fourth Class/P6), ‘They Care for Me’ (Junior Infants, P/1), ‘Circle of Friends’ (GIL 3, First Class/P1), ‘The Apostles’ (GIL 4, Second Class/P4), ‘Go Tell Everyone’ (GIL7, Fifth Class/P7), ‘Whatsoever You Do’ (GIL8, Sixth Class/P8)- all available as video lyrics.
Other art and online activities are also accessible. There are also a wide selection of poems and journal activities in the e-books.
PRAY from Grow in Love/ I nGrá Dé
Glory be to the Father
Glory be to the Father,
And to the Son,
And to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning,
Is now, and ever shall be,
World without end. Amen.
Glóir don Athair
Glóir don Athair,
Agus don Mhac,
Agus don Spiorad Naomh,
Mar abhí ó thus,
Mar atá anois
Agus mar a bheas go brách,
Le saol na saol. Áiméan.
Prayer to the Trinity
Praise to the Father,
Praise to the Son,
Praise to the Trinity,
The Three in One.
Paidir don Tríonóid Naofa
Moladh do Athair,
Agus don Mhac,
Agus don Spiorad Naomh,
An Triúr ina aon.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen
Ár nAthair ata ar neamh,
Go naofar d-ainm,
Go dtaga do ríocht, go ndéantar do thoil ar an talamh
Mar a dhéantar ar neamh.
Ár naran laethúil tabhair dúinn inniu,
Agus maith dúinn ár bhfaicha,
Mar a mhaithimindne dár bhféachúna
Is ná lig sinn i gcathú,
Ach saor sinn ó olc. Áiméan.
‘The Father loves the Son, and has entrusted everything to him, alleluia.’ (Benedictus antiphon)
‘You are my hiding place!
You protect me from trouble, and you put songs in my heart
Because you have saved me.’ (Psalm 33:7)
Sr Anne Neylon