The Bread PDF
What’s happening in the Church next week, and how can your family participate?
- It’s the Octave of Easter; check out “Fun Ways to Celebrate Easter with Your Family”* for background about the Easter season, games to play, food to cook, and ways to pray through the season. Many of the ideas there are included in the #GetYourGraceOn game.
- The risen Jesus doesn’t appear in the readings for Easter; all we get is an empty tomb. But that empty tomb ought to be as shocking to us today as it was to the women who discovered it on the first Easter morning; preview the readings with your kids using Breaking Open the Word at Home.*
- The Gift of Birth: Discerning God’s Presence During Childbirth is now available on the Kindle. In this week’s chapter excerpt*, Susan Windley-Daoust urges us to pay spiritual attention as God prepares us for giving birth and motherhood.
- Color the risen Jesus breaking down the gates of hell in a special excerpt from our Sense of the Sacred coloring book (page 3, PDF edition).
- Ryan Langr, the Catholic dad behind the Caffeine and Grace blog, makes his Peanut Butter & Grace debut with a reflection on how to use those 2 a.m. wake-up calls to good spiritual purpose.*
- Heidi Indahl reflects on two images of Divine Mercy in her home in The Intentional Family.*
- It’s a special Easter season trivia edition of the Stump the Parents game.
- Use your March coupon code (e-mail edition only) for 20% off at the new Gracewatch Media Store, where you’ll find Peanut Butter & Grace books and more!
* Link to the article under MORE FOR YOUR WEEK, below.
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THE WORD THIS SUNDAY
SUNDAY, March 20, 2016
The Resurrection of the Lord
This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible,
not to all the people, but to us,
the witnesses chosen by God in advance,
who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
—Acts 10:34a, 37-43
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.
When Christ your life appears,
then you too will appear with him in glory.
When Simon Peter arrived after him,
he went into the tomb and saw the burial cloths there, and the cloth that had covered his head, not with the burial cloths but rolled up in a separate place.
THE CHURCH THIS WEEK
MONDAY March 28
St. Catharine of Bologna (1413-1463)
The Poor Clare nun who wrote On the Seven Spiritual Weapons, a treatise about avoiding temptation.
TUESDAY March 29
St. John Climacus (7th century)
The monk who wrote The Ladder to Paradise, which describes thirty steps to holiness.
WEDNESDAY March 30
St. Peter Regalado (1390-1456)
The Franciscan who led a return to poverty and simplicity, and whose service to the poor was marked by miracles.
THURSDAY March 31
Blessed Joan of Toulouse (d. 1286)
The Carmelite lay associate who spent her life visiting and caring for the poor, sick, and lonely.
FRIDAY April 1
Sr. Ignatia Gavin (1889-1966)
The Sister of Charity who assisted in the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous and who ministered to more than 10,000 alcoholics.
April Fool’s Day
Child Abuse Prevention Month begins
SATURDAY April 2
Ven. Carla Ronci (1936-1970)
The young woman who began serving abandoned children at age 14, and who rode her motorcycle around serving others as a lay apostle throughout her life.
THE WEEKS AHEAD
1 week to Divine Mercy Sunday (April 2)
1 week to the Solemnity of the Annunciation
GET YOUR GRACE ON
Try out a handful of these ideas this week! Numbers in brackets are points for the #GetYourGraceOn game.
Prayerfully read the Gospel accounts of the Resurrection appearances from the daily readings during the Octave of Easter; try reading them before your family meal. 
Are you praying the Divine Mercy Novena? Many people begin praying this novena on Good Friday in anticipation of Divine Mercy Sunday; you can find the novena online. 
Change the covering on your prayer table to white (or gold) for the Easter season. Here are some other ideas for decorating your prayer table: Set out a picture of the Resurrected Christ; purchase an Easter lily; get some holy water from your parish and set out a bowl of it on the table, and use it to bless your kids during family prayer; make a Paschal candle (find directions online); bring out bells, traditionally rung to celebrate Easter. 
It is traditional to eat sweet breads during the Easter season. Some possibilities include simnel cake, a light, toasted fruit cake with two layers of almond paste or marzipan, common to Britain and Ireland; potica and other nut rolls; cozonac, a variation on a sweet bread with raisins commonly eaten throughout Europe on Easter; and the savory Jamaican Easter bun. As you make these breads with your kids, talk about the alternative second reading for Easter day (1 Corinthians 5-8), which talks about becoming a “fresh batch of dough.” 
Play games on Easter Sunday: foot racers, egg tosses, and even water fights are some of the “traditional” games you’ll find in “Fun Easter Celebrations for Your Family” at pbgrace.com.* 
In honor of the Resurrection story in John 21:1-14, serve your kids fish for breakfast. If your kids are not fans of fish, make fish-shaped waffles or pancakes; if you’re ambitious, get a special fish-shaped waffle pan for making taiyaki, a Japanese fish-shaped waffle. 
Kids love to celebrate April Fool’s Day. Take a look at “Put a Christian Twist on April Fool’s Day”* for ideas on how to mark the day with the help of some “foolish” saints. Also, check out “Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? Saints and Holy Fools Answer.”* 
Get your neighborhood ready for Easter! Give your kids a wide broom and encourage them to sweep up sand and winter debris along your street. Bring a trash bag to the playground and spend five minutes picking up trash. Use sidewalk chalk to color Easter messages on your boulevard; or plant spring bulbs. 
Buy cage-free eggs for Easter (tell your kids why) and fair-trade chocolate candy. (Child labor and slave labor are widely used in cocoa production.) You can buy fair-trade chocolate at Catholic Relief Services. 
Give your kids a heads-up about what to expect at Easter; see Stump the Parents for six things your kids can watch for. 
Stump the Parents! Six Things to Know about Easter
This week, share these fun facts about the Easter season with your kids (or parents):
1) We’re singing the alleluia again, after “burying” the alleluia for the forty days of Lent.
2) We’re ringing bells again (if your church has any).
3) The Sequence, an ancient liturgical hymn, is sung before the proclamation of the Gospel.
4) Instead of the profession of faith (“I believe…”), we’re renewing our baptismal promises and being sprinkled with the waters of baptism.
5) The Easter season lasts for fifty days.
6) The Octave of Easter lasts eight days (from Easter Sunday through the following Sunday). At the end of each Mass of the Octave, the double Alleluia is sung at the dismissal.
EVEN MORE FOR YOUR WEEK
Fun Easter Celebrations for Your Family
Easter marks the high point of the entire liturgical year. Here’s how to celebrate the season with your kids.
“Lord, Teach Me to See”: How Do We See the Holy Spirit in Giving Birth?
If every child is desired by God, does it not make sense that every mother is being prepared by God to give birth and be a mother? Our job is to pay spiritual attention to the ways in which God is at work in our lives. by Susan Windley-Daoust
My Image of Divine Mercy
My willingness to trust God, resulted in two beautiful faces that paint my own image of divine mercy. by Heidi Indahl
Stay Awake with Me, Daddy
This week, my goal is to transform my baby daughter’s 2 a.m. wake-up call into an opportunity to “stay awake one hour” with the Lord. by Ryan Langr
What Do You Do with an Empty Tomb? | Breaking Open the Word at Home
It is not the glorified Christ who greets us this Easter morning, but the shocking fact of an empty tomb. Do you share the disciples’ first confused reactions?
Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road? Saints and Holy Fools Answer in Honor of April Fool’s Day
Why did the chicken cross the road? An assortment of answers from saints and holy fools to tickly your funny bone on April Fool’s Day.