January 11, 2022; class #14 (Luke 3:15-16, 21-22)
lesson # 8, How do we become members of the Church?
Audio recording of lesson

Let’s begin with the Sign of the Cross:

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Come, Holy Spirit, and fill the hearts of your faithful. Light the fire of your love in them. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created, and you will renew the face of the earth. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Remember what color chasuble the priest was wearing at Mass this weekend? White. We celebrated Jesus' baptism on Sunday. These days, the feast of the Baptism of the Lord is the last day of the Christmas season. That means that the Christmas season is now officially over.

GOSPEL: At Mass this past weekend, the Gospel reading was from the Gospel of Luke. Let’s read the story that the priest read from the Gospel on Sunday. It's in
the children's bulletin. The title of the story is "The Baptism of Jesus." It's here, in red. You can read it with a little help. I'll read it twice. The first time, I'll read slowly as you see the words below:

The Baptism of Jesus
Some people saw a man baptizing
and wondered if he was the Messiah. But he was a
prophet sent to prepare the way for Jesus:
John the Baptist.

John said, "I baptize you with water. But
one more powerful than I will come.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."

When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was
baptized too. And as He was praying, heaven was opened,
and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove.

A voice came from heaven
to Jesus during His baptism.
It said,
"You are my son, whom I love;
with you I am well pleased."

TEXTBOOK: This week we’ll do Lesson # 8 in your textbook. It begins on page 77. The lesson is called, "How do we become members of the Church?" In that question, the word Church means the whole Catholic Church, the Church of all Catholics all around the world. St. Jane Frances de Chantal is our parish church, but it's not the whole, entire Church. The word "church" is another one of those words that means two things: When the word "Church" begins with a capital letter, it means the entire Catholic Church, all over the world, and all Catholics, all around the world. But when the word "church" begins with a little letter, it means a church building, like a parish church, like the de Chantal church building. For Catholics, the same religion is practiced at all Catholic churches all around the world, in all sorts of languages. The very same Gospel reading that Fr. Giese read on Sunday was read by all of the priests at all of the Catholic churches in this area -- Our Lady of Mercy, Our Lady of Lourdes, Christ the King, Our Lady of Poland, St. Bartholomew's. All of them. Even at the giant and beautiful Basilica of the National Shrine down in Washington, D.C. And all around the world, that same Gospel reading was read on Sunday, in many, many different languages. People may speak a different language, or wear different clothes from what we wear, or look different from us, but if they are Catholic, they are all hearing the same message when they go to their parish church. And the Mass is in the same order. We're all part of the same Church, the Catholic Church.

let's begin on page 77 and find out how to become members of the Catholic Church. If you start the video below called "VOICE RECORDING," you will hear me reading from your textbook. You can turn to page 77 in your textbook now, before you click to begin the voice recording, and you can see the page that I'll be reading from. I'll tell you whenever we go to the next page.

Follow along as I read, beginning at page 77 in your book.
Every time we go to a new page, I'll tell you. Let's begin on page 77:
How do we become members of the church?

SAINT FEATURED IN CHAPTER: Your textbook has a little paragraph about Saint Peter Claver. He is mentioned in this lesson because he baptized so many people. There is more to St. Peter Claver's story than that little paragraph tells you.

Peter Claver was born more than 440 years ago, in Europe, in the country of Spain. He was born into a very poor family. He decided to study to become a priest when he was a young man. Six years after he began working to be a priest, he sailed across the Atlantic Ocean and arrived in what is now the South American country of Columbia. He arrived in a city called Cartagena. It was the biggest slave market in the western hemisphere. Every month, one thousand enslaved people arrived in Cartagena. Peter Claver dedicated himself to the service of those enslaved people. When the slave ships would arrive, Peter would go onto the ships and give food to the people. He would give them medicine, tend to the sick and dying, administer Sacraments, tell them about God, and offer to baptize them. He spent 33 years in Cartagena, serving the thousands of slaves who arrived month after month. He did not lose sight of his converts when they left the slave ships; he would follow them to plantations where they were sent, and he would encourage them to live as Christians, and he would beg the people holding them as slaves to treat them humanely. Peter also fought for the slave trade to be abolished, to be ended. And, yes, Peter Claver baptized more than 300,000 people.

There is a coloring page for Peter Claver included in the stack of saints pages that you got for Christmas. Here is what that coloring page looks like:

What do you see in the picture? Talk with your mom, or dad, or grandparent about what you see in that picture.

Your textbook tells you about the sacraments of Baptism, the Eucharist (or “communion”), and Confirmation. You already have been baptized. You were baptized as babies and don't even remember. Perhaps you have seen photographs of when you were baptized. If you ask your mom, she may be happy to show you pictures of when you were baptized. Perhaps you have seen someone else be baptized. Perhaps you have a little brother who will be baptized soon.

Next year, when you are in 2nd grade, you will prepare to make your 1st Communion, and you will be able to receive the Eucharist. Before you make your 1st Communion, you will make your 1st confession. Confession is one part of Reconciliation, another sacrament; the other part of Reconciliation is penance. You will learn about that next year. At de Chantal, children receive the sacrament of Confirmation in 8th grade, and there will be lots of preparation before you receive the sacrament of Confirmation.

There are some new words with today's lesson. I want to make sure that you hear them and that you know them:
Baptism is the first sacrament we receive. It gives us new life in Jesus.
Grace is God's gift of his life in us.
Eucharist is the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
Last Supper was the last meal that Jesus shared with his followers, the apostles, on the night before he died. We re-enact that every week at Mass with communion, by receiving the Eucharist.
Confirmation is the sacrament that strengthens us with the gift of the Holy Spirit.

ART: Baptism of Jesus
Many, many artists have painted their versions of the baptism of Jesus. No one was there to photograph what happened, of course. We know that. So any painting is just an artist's representation of the event. I found copies of many of those paintings to share with you. I had hoped that we could look at the art together in class and talk about the art, telling which paintings we liked, and which we thought might be unusual. Because we cannot meet in person for this class, that cannot happen. However, you can still look at the paintings. If you can look with your mom, or dad, or big sister, or grandma, that would make the looking more fun.

If you click on any picture, it will open to a larger size. It would be best to use a tablet or a laptop computer to look at these. I don't think that you could see much on a phone, but I'm not sure.

When you look at the pictures, try to find the dove in the painting. Not all of the artists put the dove in the painting, but most did.

Most of these paintings were made hundreds of years ago. Only one was made in modern times. That one is # 13. Now, look at the pretty pictures, and enjoy them.

Coloring sheets:

There are two coloring sheets that go with this lesson. The first depicts John the Baptist baptising Jesus in the Jordan River.

The second coloring sheet is more unusual. It shows two angels. (And, remember, angels are real, but they are invisible. Artists paint them, but angels are invisible messengers from God.) The two angels in the coloring sheet are from the #1 painting that you saw above, from this painting:

If you click on that picture, you will see a bigger image. Then, if you click again, you will see a really big version of the painting. You can move it around, and you'll see the two angels. Here is the part of the painting that shows only those two angels:

And, if you click on that picture of the two angels, you will see a larger version of just the two angels.

You can use the colors that the artist used, or you can use any color that you like. The artist's name was Leonardo da Vinci. If you are able to color the angels, I'd love to see them. If you can bring them to class next week, I would be happy to see how you colored them.

It is sad that, for the 2nd week in a row, we have not been able to meet. It is always fun to see you in person. Tuesday evenings and my time with you is one of my happy times every week, and I look forward to it.

Let's say the prayers that we say at the end of every class. We'll begin with the Our Father. You know the words:

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 against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Saint Michael the Archangel, please defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke the devil, we humbly pray.
And do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God,
cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits,
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.