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Baptized in the Holy Spirit and Fire / The Baptism of the Lord + First Week of Ordinary Time

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The Bread PDF

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This week in The Bread:

  • It’s the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord this Sunday…the perfect opportunity to talk to your kids about the meaning of their own baptism.
  • This week’s saints include a pair who defended the faith against Arianism…plus, a 15-year-old who fled to the desert…and stayed there for 90 years.
  • We’ve got ideas for National Poverty Awareness Month, and we’ll plug you into the 9 Days for Life Novena that begins January 16.
  • Have you heard about the new movie about the end of Mary’s life? Check it out!
  • Becky Arganbright on the parallels between the spiritual life and…dog obedience.
  • Heidi Indahl on the value of living the faith.
  • Do you know where the soul comes from, or why the human race forms a unity? Neither do we, which is why we’ll be playing Stump the Parents this week.
  • And as always, Jen Schlameuss-Perry has a wealth of reflection questions and insights into this Sunday’s Gospel.


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Sunday, January 10, 2016
Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one with whom I am pleased,
upon whom I have put my spirit….
—Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7

The Lord will bless his people with peace.
—Psalm 29

“…God anointed Jesus of Nazareth
with the Holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil,
for God was with him.”
—Acts 10:34-38

And a voice came from heaven,
“You are my beloved Son;
with you I am well pleased.”
—Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

The Gospel is Luke’s version of the Baptism, in which we see Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all present together at once—the Trinity revealed.
—Jen Schlameuss-Perry

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



MONDAY January 11
Blessed William Carter (d. 1584)
The London printer who continued printing Catholic publications even after the faith was banned, ultimately paying with his life.

TUESDAY January 12
St. Marguerite Bourgeoys (1620-1700)
The woman who founded schools for colonists and Indians in
Montreal and Quebec City, known as “Mother of the Colony.”

WEDNESDAY January 13
St. Hilary (315-368)
The bishop of Poitiers, France, who defended the divinity of Christ against the Arian heresy.

THURSDAY January 14
St. Gregory Nazianzen (329-390)
The bishop who endured slander and violence as he rebuilt the faith in Constantinople after three decades of Arianism; he is famous for his homilies on the Trinity.

FRIDAY January 15
St. Paul the Hermit (c. 233-345)
The 15-year-old who fled to the desert to escape persecution and ended up staying for 90 years.

SATURDAY January 16
St. Joseph Vaz (1651–1711)
The priest from India who rebuilt the Church in Dutch Ceylon despite the faith being banned.

Nine Days for Life begins

1 week until the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan 18-25)
1 week until the National Prayer Vigil for Life (Jan 21)



Try out a handful of these ideas this week . . . and if you want to “play for points,” record your points in the Get Your Grace On game in the PDF version of The Bread. You can add up your points at the end of the week, and give your kids an appropriate prize. Points are roughly equivalent to minutes, so adjust your points for extra time spent on family faith formation.


Preview this Sunday’s readings with your kids. [20]

Participate in Nine Days for Life, a novena of prayer for human life and dignity sponsored by the U.S. Catholic bishops January 16-22. Join by e-mail or text message; search the Internet for 9 Days for Life Novena. [90]



This Sunday would be an excellent time to tell the story of your child’s baptism. What was the most memorable moment? Why did you ask to have your child baptized? What promises did you have to make? Pull out anything related to your kids’ baptism: a baptismal gown, candle, pictures, or video. [60]

The liturgical season of Christmas ends with the Baptism of the Lord, and Ordinary Time begins the following day. What traditions does your family have around putting away Christmas decorations? What traditions could you start? [20]



This is National Poverty Awareness Month. Visit the Poverty USA website to learn about the 42 million Americans who live in poverty, then get to know people who live in poverty in or near your community. [120]



Watch Full of Grace, a new film about the last days of Mary…and the crisis faced by the early Church. The movie is available at Walmart, Target, and on demand; see fullofgracefilm.com. [70]

Learn more about Arianism, and talk to your kids about what it means to you to say that Christ is both human and divine. [30]


Stump the Parents! Creation

This week’s theme: Man and the Fall.

Have your kids check out questions 66-78 in the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (available online), where they’ll also find the answers. Then let them try to stump you. (Find complete directions for Stump the Parents at pbgrace.com). Some sample questions:

What does it mean to say that men and women are created in the image of God? (#66)
For what purpose did God create man and woman? (#67)
Why does the human race form a unity? (#68)
How does the body and soul form a unity? (#69)
Where does the soul come from? (#70)
What was the fall of the angels? (#74)
What is original sin? (#76)
What are the consequences of original sin? (#77)

How to play: Older kids and teens skim the text to come up with questions to ask their parents. Parents score 10 points for correct answers; kids score 20 points for stumping the parents. All points get added up for the Get Your Grace On game. See “Stump the Parents” at pbgrace.com for more ideas.



There’s No Substitute for Living the Faith
In so many aspects of our faith journey, there is no substitute for the real experience.
by Heidi Indahl

It’s a Dog’s Life: What Training Our Dog Taught Us about the Spiritual Life
Teaching our new puppy to submit to us as his “pack leader” is surprisingly similar to the spiritual life: Whether you’re a puppy or a person, you’re always happier knowing who is really in charge.
by Becky Arganbright

Baptism of the Lord | Breaking Open the Word at Home
by Jen Schlameuss-Perry


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.