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He Was Lifted Up | Seventh Week of Easter + Ascension Sunday + Mother’s Day

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Bread-mastWhat’s happening in the Church next week, and how can your family participate?

  • This week we’re celebrating the Seventh Week of Easter . . . plus the Solemnity of the Ascension, Our Lady of Fatima, and the apostle no one remembers.
  • This Sunday, some of us will hear the readings for the Seventh Sunday of Easter, while others will hear the readings for the Solemnity of the Ascension. If you’re in the first camp, preview and discuss the readings with Jennifer Schlameuss-Perry in Breaking Open the Word at Home.*
  • Catholic kids are going to have all the fun this summer at a variety of retreats, rallies, and camps just for them. Ryan Langr has a list for you to consider!
  • Can a C-section birth that ends at the NICU be a sign of God’s presence? Read Nora’s story in the latest excerpt from The Gift of Birth.
  • Did you miss the two new resources from American Life League to help you teach your younger children respect for life: the Life Is Precious parent-led unit study, and the Miracle of Life coloring book. Check them out in our store!
  • Check out even more new content in Even More for Your Week at the end of this e-mail.
  • Use your May coupon code (e-mail edition only) for 25% off at the new Gracewatch Media Store, where you’ll find books from Peanut Butter & Grace and other Catholic partners!

* Link to the article under MORE FOR YOUR WEEK, below.

Sign up to get The Bread by e-mail, and get 25 percent off all Gracewatch Media books during the month of May at gracewatch.media (you’ll get the discount code in the e-mail):

THE WORD THIS SUNDAY

SUNDAY, May 8, 2016

Seventh Sunday of Easter
Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord
Mother’s Day

FIRST READING
When he had said this, as they were looking on,
he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.
—Acts 1:1-11

PSALM
God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
—Psalm 47

SECOND READING
And he put all things beneath his feet
and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.
—Ephesians 1:17-23

GOSPEL
They did him homage and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and they were continually in the temple praising God.
—Luke 24:46-53

REFLECTION QUESTION
What does Jesus promise his friends at the Ascension?

Breaking Open the Word at Home has more Sunday Scripture resources, including reflection questions for kids and adults; by Jennifer Schlameuss-Perry.

 

THE CHURCH THIS WEEK

MONDAY May 9
St. John of Avila (1500-1569)
The priest, mystical writer, and great preacher who had an awesome set of famous friends
and gave his inheritance to the poor.

TUESDAY May 10
St. Damien de Veuster of Moloka’I (1840-1889)
The Belgium priest who went to Hawaii to minister to people with leprosy; after many years, he caught leprosy himself and died.

WEDNESDAY May 11
St. Ignatius of Laconi (1701-1781)
He became a Franciscan brother at age 20 and spent forty years as the brothers’ official beggar; he was known for his kindness and charity.

THURSDAY May 12
Sts. Nereus and Achilleus (first century)
They were two Roman soldiers who gave up everything to become Christians. They were martyred due to their witness to Christ.

FRIDAY May 13
Our Lady of Fatima
The name given to the Blessed Virgin Mary when she appeared to three children in Fatima, in Portugal, in 1917. She shared visions and three secrets that were only revealed many years later.

SATURDAY May 14
St. Matthias (first century)
Matthias is a one-hit-wonder—he’s only mentioned once in the Bible, the time he was chosen to replace Judas after he betrayed Jesus. (Acts 1:26)
THE WEEKS AHEAD
All month is the Month of Mary
1 week to Pentecost (May 15)
2 weeks to Most Holy Trinity Sunday (May 22)
3 weeks to Corpus Christi Sunday (May 29)

 

GET YOUR GRACE ON

Try out a handful of these ideas this week! Numbers in brackets are points for the #GetYourGraceOn game.

 

PRAY

Prayerfully preview the Scriptures for this Sunday with your kids. Note that this Sunday, most dioceses in the U.S. will use the readings for the Solemnity of the Ascension. The handful of dioceses that celebrate the Ascension on the previous Thursday (those in the ecclesiastical provinces of Boston, Hartford, New York, Newark, Philadelphia, and Nebraska) will use the readings for the Seventh Sunday of Easter.

Since this is the month of Mary, try praying the Rosary together. If you have little ones, start with a decade. There are some very nice Scriptural Rosary meditations out there.

CELEBRATE

Celebrate Ascension Sunday with a picnic on a hill—it’s a big tradition in some places!

May is Mary’s month. Some ways to celebrate with your kids include holding a May crowning; planting a Mary garden; singing Marian hymns; working Marian prayers into your family prayer time, and praying with Marian art. Find out more, plus links to helpful resources, at pbgrace.com.*

This Mother’s Day, celebrate all the mothers in your life: moms, grandmas, godmothers, etc. Nothing beats homemade gifts!

Make a special table with photos of the mothers who can’t be with you to celebrate: those who are too far away, or in heaven. When you say grace, pray for all of them by name for the gift they have been to you. Don’t forget Mary, Mother of the Church and of us all!

SERVE

Mother’s Day can be a very lonely time for those whose children are grown and those unable to have children. Why not make a few bouquets of flowers and bring them to a nursing home or hospital? Or perhaps there is someone in your parish who is in that situation—bring them flowers or invite them to celebrate with you this Mother’s Day.

If you know of someone who has lost their mother and has no one to celebrate with, you could invite them over—and invite them to bring a picture to put on your table.

TALK

This week, we celebrate the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima to three very normal, run-of-the-mill kids. God frequently does extraordinary things in the lives of very simple people. Why do you think extraordinary things like apparitions happen? Have you ever had something extraordinary happen in your life that you believe was a message from God?

St. John of Avila’s group of friends included Sts. Francis Borgia,
Ignatius of Loyola, John of God, John of the Cross, Peter of Alcantara, and Teresa of Avila. They are some major Saints. What do you think it would be like to have that circle of friends? What does your circle of friends inspire you to (are they a good influence, do you help one another, do you have fun together)?

 

Stump the Parents! Life Everlasting and Amen

Have your kids look at the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (available online) #207–217, then let them choose questions to pose to you; they get points if they can “stump” you, you get points if you answer correctly. See the full rules at “Stump the Parents” at pbgrace.com.

Sample questions:

What is life everlasting? (#207)
What is the particular judgment? (#208)
What is meant by the term “heaven”? (#209)
What is purgatory and how can we help the souls being purified in purgatory? (#210-211)
In what does hell consist? (#212)
How can one reconcile the existence of hell with the infinite goodness of God? (#213)
In what does the final judgment consist and when will it occur? (#214-215)
What is the hope of the new heavens and the new earth? (#216)
What is the meaning of the word “Amen” with which we conclude our profession of faith? (#217)

EVEN MORE FOR YOUR WEEK

What We Want | Breaking Open the Word at Home
Steven prays, the Saints pray and Jesus prays—each for different things, and yet all for the same—that we will be one in God and all wind up together, in heaven. by Jen Schlameuss-Perry

Nora’s Story: I Kept Thinking, This Is My Body, Given Up for You
“Nora” had three very difficult births that ended in C-sections and babies in the NICU. How did she find God in all that? Here’s her story.   by Susan Windley-Daoust

7 Awesome Summer Experiences for Catholic Kids
Looking for some a great Catholic experience for your kids this summer? Check out our list of destinations for kids of all ages all around the country!  by Ryan Langr

Women to Honor This Mother’s Day
This Mother’s Day, go beyond flowers and breakfast in bed by taking time to honor all women who give us life. Here are four possibilities.   by Heidi Indahl

May Is Mary’s Month: Ideas and Resources for Celebrating with Your Kids

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