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The Cleansing of the Temple (Third Week of Lent) | The Bread for Mar 8 – Mar 14

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This week, we’re getting our own temples in order, learning about the Scrutinies, talking about the Ten Commandments, and celebrating the feast of the young St. Dominic Savio . . . and don’t forget to turn your clocks ahead!

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This edition of The Bread is sponsored by 77 Ways to Pray with Your Kids, on sale this week for $7.77.


Sunday, March 8

when-is-daylight-savings-time-spring-ahead-1Third Sunday of Lent

Daylight Savings Time: Spring Forward

Learn about the Scrutinies [ages 8+]

If you click the link for the Third Sunday of Lent (above), you will notice there are two options for the readings this week; one of the options is for the Scrutinies, which are special rites that are celebrated on the middle three Sundays of Lent at liturgies where the Elect are present (the Elect are those preparing to be received into the Church at Easter). Learn about the Scrutinies and talk about them with your kids before Mass this Sunday; check out The Scrutinies at Creighton University.

Read and reflect on the Sunday Scriptures [ages 3+]

Read and discuss the Sunday Scriptures before going to Mass in order to deepen your experience, and to help your kids become more familiar with the readings. For younger kids, paraphrase the readings, act them out, or find a picture book version to share.

Exodus 20:1-17

In those days, God delivered all these commandments. . . .

1 Corinthians 1:22-25

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom,
and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

John 2:13-25

His disciples recalled the words of Scripture,
Zeal for your house will consume me.

Talking Points
  • Pray with these Scriptures using lectio divina; if you are unfamiliar with this practice, see Lectio Divina for Kids: Praying with Sacred Texts.
  • In his commentary on these readings, Father Robert Barron reminds us that Saint Paul called our bodies “temples of the Holy Spirit”–that is, as baptized Christians, God dwells in us in a real and present way, much as he did in the Temple. What tables need overturning in your own life to make the temple of your body pure? (See Fr. Barron’s commentary at Word on Fire.)
  • The Ten Commandments are considered the foundation of Christian morality; in fact, the Catechism of the Catholic Church organizes its section on morality around the Ten Commandments. Choose one of the commandments and discuss some examples of how you can live it out in your own family this week. You can get ideas by looking up the commentary on the commandment in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Activity: Memorize the Ten Commandments [ages 5+]

Does your family know the Ten Commandments by heart? This Sunday, write them out together, and post them somewhere prominent. Promise a treat next Sunday if your kids are able to recite them from memory. You can find a list of the Ten Commandments here, in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The Word for This Week

Post a line from this Sunday’s readings on your refrigerator or in another prominent place. Our suggestion?

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom. (1 Corinthians 21:25)

Monday, March 9

st-frances-of-romeSt. Frances of Rome

Remember the life of St. Frances of Rome by reading her story with your kids; find it at AmericanCatholic.org or Wikipedia.


St. Dominic Savio

It is also the feast day of St. Dominic Savio, one of the youngest saints ever (he died at the age of 14 or 15). Read his story at Wikipedia.


Tuesday, March 10

What does your domestic church look like?

Watch this awesome video from Strong Catholic Families, Strong Catholic Youth, and reflect on the questions at the end.


Wednesday, March 11

Halfway through Lent . . . how are you doing?

Remember when you made a Lent Plan back at the beginning of Lent? We’re about halfway through Lent, so now is a good time to check on how you’re doing as a family. If you’ve slacked off a bit (or never got started), re-commit (or get started).

Here’s what our family Lent Plan looks like:


As for how we’re doing keeping this…well, we’ll just keep that a secret!


Thursday, March 12

Giving: Support the Vatican’s call for an end to the death penalty [ages 8+]

This past week, the Holy See once again affirmed its call for states to end the death penalty; during an address to the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Holy See declared “bloodless means” are capable of defending the common good and upholding justice. Read the text of the statement here.

If you live in one of the 32 U.S. states that have the death penalty, encourage your kids to write to their local representative, or to the local paper, to have the law changed.

Alternatively, you can participate in the movement to halt the conviction of Kelly Gissendaner by the state of Georgia; see Let Kelly Gissendaner Live for the full story, and then sign the petition.


Friday, March 13

Fasting: Polish Barley Soup + dinner questions [all ages]

Make this yummy-looking Polish Barley Soup over at Between the Linens, then get on over to the Family Dinner Project for fun conversation starters to accompany your family meal. You can also find a lot of great information about the importance of family meals, and support for making them happen.


Saturday, March 14

Pray: Praying for peace [ages 3+]

With conflicts raging in the Middle East, Ukraine, and elsewhere, now is always a good time to learn a prayer for peace. Begin by introducing your kids to the Prayer of Saint Francis, which you can find on the USCCB Prayers for Peace page.


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Follow Jerry Windley-Daoust:

Publisher, Gracewatch Media

Jerry Windley-Daoust is a writer, editor, and father of five. He writes essays and stories at Windhovering and is the show-runner for Gracewatch Media, a small Catholic publisher. You can follow his latest publishing projects at gracewatch.org.

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