THE FAMILY ZONE

Equipping the Domestic Church/ISSUE 99/11.13.22

Glory, Gratitude and Anticipated Hope!

The next few weeks in our faith are busy ones! We kick off next weekend by closing out our liturgical year with the Feast of Christ the King, a feast that began in 1925 to remind us that leaders will come and go, but Christ will always remain the King of our lives; "His Kingdom will have no end!" That same week, we celebrate Thanksgiving a secular holiday that reminds us to pray in gratitude for the bounty of blessings in our lives. Finally, on Sunday, November 27, we observe the First Sunday of Advent, a time to wait in hope for all the ways Jesus Christ will be revealed to us, incarnate in our world and lives! In this edition, we explore all three days. We wish you and yours a most blessed Thanksgiving!

LIVE THE EUCHARIST

Spending time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is a wonderful way to observe the Feast of Christ the King and pray that your priorities might better align with his! Follow the link below for a listing of Adoration and Prayer opportunities offered around our diocese each month.

READ!

SUNDAY READINGS:

Click on the link below for the readings that you will hear at the Sunday Mass for the coming two weeks. This will give you a chance to prepare your heart and mind for full and active participation in Mass this weekend! For a Mass schedule in our diocese click on the grey button below.


Sunday Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/112022.cfm

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/112022.cfm


Family Stories: Here are some stories to help children cultivate a sense of gratitude:


My Heart Fills with Happiness by Monique Gray Smith

Our Table by Peter Reynolds

Gracias/Thanks by Pat Mora

My Gratitude Jar by Kristen Wiens

WRITE!

We often hear people say they want to see "good news" in the paper or on the news stations. This exercise helps kids and families focus on creating good news articles! Write a report about something great happening in your world! Share it as a message of hope during the season of Advent, just like the prophet Isaiah shared about the coming of Christ!

LISTEN!

Here is an interesting Podcast to kick off your holiday season: Hark from America Magazine shares the stories behind our beloved Christmas carols!

WATCH!

Gratitude as a Learning Strategy
My Time with Jesus - Ep. 36 - Christ the King
What is Advent

CREATE!

Create a new family ADVENT tradition to fully enter into the season:


1. Choose 4 special books with a Christian Advent or Christmas Theme. Place the books in a basket next to your Advent Wreath or Calendar. Share a family story on each of the four Sundays of Advent. Have a special snack and time for chatting about the story afterward!

2. Decorate a Jesse Tree with Bible-themed, homemade ornaments. Here is a link for a special plan https://www.faithward.org/jesse-tree/#:~:text=What%20is%20Jesse%20Tree%3F,story%20on%20your%20Jesse%20Tree.

3. Celebrate a Catholic Feast Day that falls during Advent such as St. Nicholas Day, St. Lucy's Day, or Our Lady of Guadalupe. Follow this link to get you started in planning your special family day! https://www.catholicicing.com/advent-saints-feasts-days-to-celebrate-during-advent-with-catholic-kids/

4. Attend a special Advent offering at your parish and spend some time in quiet prayer. If possible, take a quiet walk to see Christmas lights, before the service to set the tone, and get the jitters out of busy kids.

5. Set up the manger at the beginning of the season, but only put the animals in. Slowly move Mary and Joseph toward the manger during the month. Make a special point of watching the progress on their journey! Fill the manger with a piece of straw or thin strip of yellow paper each time your family shows kindness to others during the month. Put Jesus in on Christmas Eve!

6. Keep your tree undecorated until Christmas Eve to signify ringing in the Christmas season and closing out Advent or slowly decorate the house with just one item daily so that kids see the difference between Advent and Christmas!

PRAY!

Here is a prayer to end the Liturgical Year. As we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King, we close out one liturgical year and prepare to begin another. How have you grown in faith in the past year? Where is Christ calling you to draw closer? Try praying this together on Christ the King Sunday and share your God moments from the past year with one another!


O God, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end of all things, we pray in gratitude for your steadfast presence in our lives, even when we fail to see you at work. We offer, at the close of another year, our deepest thanks for the fatherly care with which you have watched over us during the past, for the many times you have protected us from evil, and for the countless blessings, you have showered upon us. Please God, accept the praise of our grateful hearts which we offer in union with your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Amen.

PLAY!

Enjoy some family storytelling on Thanksgiving Day!

BE WELL!

The Advent skill of patience can be good for our health! Research suggests that people with little patience have added stress, anger management issues, and a rise in blood pressure. Practicing patience teaches us to control our reactionary responses and wait to think things through. It can increase our level of compassion and empathy too!


When you are feeling rushed this holiday season, consciously slow yourself down. Breathe, pray and sit in solitude for a bit. Listen before responding, and work to live in the moment. Also, avoid your impulses for immediate gratification. Train your brain to slow down by engaging in tasks like a jigsaw or crossword puzzle. Little by little, your patience will grow! This is a great skill to pass along to our children!

TEACHABLE MOMENT: Getting the Gimmes

The holiday season can often bring out the worst in our kids as they start thinking about all the things they hope will be wrapped up and waiting for them under the tree. Some families find an answer to this by giving only three gifts, just like the Wise Men shared with the Baby Jesus. Others focus on supporting giving trees that can help families in need and encourage kids to get in on the giving instead of the getting. The most important lesson you can share with your family is making the season about Christ; sharing Christ's love with one another through special family moments and passing that love on out in the world, will go a long way in making a very happy Advent and Christmas season for your family without all the waste of dozens of opened and barely used gifts!

WORD OF THE WEEK!

ENCYCLICAL: A Papal letter, or letter written by the Pope, that is sent to all Bishops in the world (and recently to all the faithful), for the faithful to hear the Pope's views on Church teachings and Doctrine. Pope Pius XI’s encyclical called Quas Primas, initiated the Feast of Christ the King and gave Catholics hope at a time when civilization in many areas of the world was in a time of unrest and uncertainty.

WONDER!

Here are some questions to get kids talking and thinking about gratitude:


  • How does it feel when I don't thank someone that has been thoughtful toward me?
  • Do I say thank you for daily ways my family members help me?
  • How often should I say thank you to God?
  • Would my family and friends react differently if I showed gratitude more often?
  • How does my mood change when I think about what I am grateful for?


Office of Evangelization and Catechesis

Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

Debtor in Possession

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