The Family Zone

Lectionary-Based Playlist /Issue 46/February 14, 2021

"Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ."

Happy St. Valentine's Day! What a perfect day to focus on what it means to be an imitator of Christ because Jesus is the ultimate model of love and teaches us to love others as He does. Though Valentine's Day is most often considered a romantic holiday, on St. Valentine's day, we might also use this wonderful opportunity to share our love with family members, friends and even strangers by sharing acts of kindness! Though there are conflicting stories about the life of St. Valentine, all stories reflect his willingness to share brave, charitable acts in the name of Christ.

Lent begins THIS WEDNESDAY, with Ash Wednesday, an obligatory day of fasting and abstinence. Carve out some time with your family to come up with a Lenten plan that will fit your family's lifestyle. Ashes will be distributed by churches this year; please check with your parish for it's Ash Wednesday plan!

Journeying with St. Joseph

Is he not the carpenter’s son?

-Matthew 13:55

Jesus is ‘the carpenter’s son’ in this passage. But what is a carpenter? In this instance, it is a translation of ‘tekton’ a Greek word that means ‘skilled worker.’ Most likely, Joseph was a woodworker, but artisan is another word that might be as fitting as carpenter. In the Jewish tradition, a carpenter could indicate that he was considered wise and highly literate in the Torah. Joseph was no slouch, that is for sure!



Family Stories:

  • The Tale of Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt
  • You Are Special by Max Lucado
  • Magnificat: Little Life of Jesus by Anne Gravier

Parent Article:

For Teens:


  • Choose one of the healing miracles of Jesus from this list. Rewrite the story in your own words. Try creating a play of it with character names, actions and script!
  • Leprosy is a real disease. Today, people aren't in the streets with leprosy and shunned by others but plenty of people are excluded or mistreated by others because of things they can't help or control about their bodies. Who are the "lepers" in today's world? Make a list, together, with a parent or grandparent and talk about how your family can reach out to them and make them feel welcome and loved.
  • Can you name 25 things you know about Jesus? Choose one of the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke or John and find 25 facts about Jesus in it. We can't imitate who we do not know!
  • Wednesday begins Lent. How will your family observe the three pillars of Lent: Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving? Make 3 columns with one of those headings in each. Write out a family Lenten plan!


How can you live this Lent for others? Are you giving up chocolate just so you can lose weight or are you considering how you might help others by your sacrifice? Think about it further by listening to this podcast by Father Mike Schmitz:


Prayer is one of the Pillars of Lent! This Lenten season, improve your prayer life with these simple ideas:

  • Try to start every morning with a prayer. Pray with your children before they fall asleep.
  • Add some time for silent prayer and reflection into your day.
  • Try to pray the Rosary or the chaplet of Divine Mercy every day of Lent
  • Try lectio divina. Open a Bible or a Bible app and spend some time prayerfully reading and meditating on even just one verse of scripture.
  • Make your way through one of the four Gospels during Lent by reading and reflecting on the message each day.
  • Attend daily Mass.
  • Create a jar of intentions. Add a new one every day to pray with your family. (pray for your neighbors, our leaders, your priest, frontline workers, grocery clerks, teachers...there are so many who need our prayers!
  • Make sure your family says grace at every meal. If it hasn't been your habit, it will become one by the end of Lent!
  • Pray the stations of the Cross. This beautiful prayer can be prayed all year but you’ll find it available to be prayed with a group at almost every parish on Lenten Fridays


Fasting is another Pillar of Lent. On Ash Wednesday and all Fridays, we abstain from meat. Here is a playlist of meatless meals from Catholic moms!
Ash Wednesday and Lent in 60 seconds - with LEGO!
Lent in 3 Minutes (NEW!)


  • Practice "imitating." Gather your family for a fun family game night to play Charades! Invite other family members or friends to join on zoom! Take turns acting something out WITHOUT saying any words! See if your family and friends can guess what you are acting out!
  • TUESDAY of this week is the traditional celebration known as Shrove Tuesday. It's a great time to have a family party before the Penitential Season of Lent begins. Dinner is pancakes or other sweet indulgences, have game night, play some music, dance, or play some of these pancake-themed games! Before Bed, make a ceremony of "burying" the Alleluia. Write the word Alleluia on a piece of paper, put it in a shoe box or bag and hide it away. Explain that during Lent, we go without saying Alleluia during Mass. To more fully understand this Catholic tradition, click on this link to read more:


  • Create a hallway laser maze like the picture on the right! Is there one way to go through the maze? Are your family members (who might be taller or shorter than you) taking different routes to get through? How many different ways are there to get through the maze? We all take different paths during Lent but our common goal is to be transformed by the experience!
  • Use the calendar found in the PDF below to do something special every day or once a week during Lent that recognizes the plight of those in need around the world. Circle what your family will do together and design a special place to put your Operation Rice Bowl to remind you to Give Alms during the Lenten season (another Pillar of Lent) You can get a rice bowl from your parish or create your own "rice bowl" and send your donation at the end of the Lenten Season to Catholic Relief Services. For more information visit:

Wonder with St. Joseph

I’m so proud of my son! He never seeks to make himself seem important, but just does what he came to do. He didn’t seek his own glory when he healed that leper. He only wanted to help. And what a boy! Even after the healed man told everyone and the crowds appeared, he still welcomed anyone who wanted to be near him.

Parents - Do you think if he took away your pain that you would be able to not tell anyone? Do you think you would be one of the people that went out to the “deserted places” just to see Jesus?

Children – Do you think you could be like Jesus and welcome people who want to be around you? What about the new student at school, or the new family that moves in down the street?


Almsgiving: giving to others as an act of virtue, either materially or in the sense of providing capabilities (e.g. education) for free

Office of Evangelization and Catechesis

Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester

Debtor in Possession

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