Week of January 3rd – 9th, 2020
Anytime this week
- Read and discuss the Gospel reading for the upcoming Sunday, Baptism of the Lord.
- Discussion questions:
- Adult question: When do you feel that you are a beloved child of God and God is well-pleased with you?
- Child question: When do you feel most loved?
- Everyone: John the Baptist said that Jesus is might (powerful). How have you seen Jesus’ power at work in your life?
January 3rd: Celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord
The word Epiphany means “manifestation” or “showing forth.” Historically, several moments in Christ’ s early life and ministry have been celebrated as “epiphanies,” including his birth in Bethlehem, the visit of the Magi, his baptism by John, and his first miracle at Cana.
- Read: Read about the magi’s visit to see Jesus.
- Eat: A popular Epiphany tradition in many cultures, King Cake is a sweet cake in which a small figure of a baby is hidden. Searching for the baby in the cake imitates the Magi’s search for the baby Jesus. Make a simple one using canned cinnamon rolls like this one on Catholic Icing or a more traditional one like this one on Catholic Cuisine.
- Pray: An Epiphany tradition is to use chalk blessed at the Masses for Epiphany to bless one’s home in the New Year. Even if blessed chalk isn’t available, you can still celebrate this ritual. Use chalk to write the following above the front door of your home: 20+C+M+B+XX (XX=the last two numbers of the current year). The numbers represent the current year; the letters represent the three Magi–Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar–and the prayer Christus Mansionem Benedicat, which is Latin for “May Christ bless this house.” Then pray The Blessing of the Home and Household on Epiphany.
- Do: Read the Gospel account of the visit of the three magi, then have your children march through the house holding the figures of the three magi from your Nativity set while singing or listening to the song, We Three Kings.
- Do: Go star-gazing. The magi followed a star to find Jesus. Download a free star-gazing app that can help you identify stars and constellations.
January 4th: Celebrate St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton was the founder of the first U.S. Catholic parish school and the first person born in the U.S. to be declared a saint.
- Read: Read about St. Elizabeth Ann Seton or watch this short video about her.
- Eat: Make some colonial brown bread and enjoy with some alphabet soup.
- Pray: Pray for St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s intercession.
January 5th: Celebrate St. John Neumann
St. John Neumann left his homeland to dedicate himself to ministering to European immigrants in America. He is credited with setting up the first system of diocesan parochial schools in the United States.