God with us

As we enter into the second half of the school year. I thought that it would be a good idea to start talking a little bit about First Holy Communion, which will be a big year for our class next year. So, I headed out to buy mini pita breads and some small cups to help in the visual and kinesthetic learning part of our lesson, which is the eating of bread and drinking of wine (we will use water).

I planned to use a felt board to reenact Jesus’ instruction at the Last Supper when He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, giving it to His disciples saying, “This is My body given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Then, giving them wine, saying: “This is My blood, this cup is the new covenant which is poured out for you.” Luke 22:19-20. Only, life had a different plan called No Time Left. All the day’s chores and taking my son shopping to get ready to go back to college. Left me with 20 minutes to put all the pieces for the felt board together and pack my bag with all the supplies. As you can guess, that’s not happening… However, I am very grateful for a plan B, which is God’s grace. I had just enough time to grab a video tape about the Last Supper.

The moment I entered the RE office to get my mail, I was told one of the other first grade teachers would not be coming in, and asked if I would teach her class as well. “ Why not?” After all, I have plan B, a movie, and most of all four great teacher’s assistants. Before merging the two classes, I had Dominique take attendance and do a chapter in their work book. As I would do in our class. All goes well, we got together, the movie starts, and the kids are happy. About 10 minutes into the movie, Paula walks over to me and whispers, “I have this tape at home, and it scares me. I don’t want to watch it.”

It took me back to years ago, when our family visited Disney World with another family of friends. Everyone wanted to go on the Tower of Terror. All the kids were excited as we waited on line. I had no clue, to what I was in for… Our youngest daughter Gabriella, was about the age of our class. To cut to the chase, I could not wait for the ride to be over, and neither could she. She was done. It ruined her day. Therefore, we waited at the exit of every ride all day. This opened my eyes to see how scary everything in Disney’s Hollywood Studios can be. Monsters pop up and out of everything and anything.

Now, back to our class. We just passed the part of the video where Judas was receiving thirty pieces of silver for betraying Jesus. They were now in the upper room where our Lord instituted the Most Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper. I decided to stop the movie there, and use the pita breads to continue. To my surprise, some of the class was very upset. They wanted to see the video. I thank God for giving me two classrooms. After they had the pita bread and water, I gave them a choice to stay and finish watching the movie or come with me to the other class. It was an even split. All the girls and Gianluca came with me, and all the boys and Charlotte, stayed.

For those who came back with me, I had the privilege to share with them the joy of God’s Word. How God can take the things in this world that are scary to us, and give us His peace, by showing us the awesome love He has for all of us. When I ask them, “What do you see when you see the Cross?” With a joyful melody, they all yell out a HUG!

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call His Name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). Matthew 1:23

The Lord is my shepherd: ‘Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for You are with me…Psalm 23:4

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