The PROCEDURE section of this Guide includes convenient verbatim suggestions for presenting the Year of Our Lord 2010-2011 calendar found on pp. 28-29 in the November/December 2010 issue of CATECHIST.
CLICK HERE for a convenient Image Key to help you and your students identify the various illustrations in the center of the calendar.
Matthew wrote to Christian communities that were familiar with Mark’s Gospel, written around 70 A.D. Matthew, however, expands Mark’s content with greater detail. For example, each year we hear one of the three accounts of the Temptation of Jesus on the First Sunday of Lent. Mark’s version is extremely sparse: “The Spirit drove Jesus into the desert, and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan” (1:12-13). Matthew and Luke, however, expand Mark’s verses to include the three temptations (Matthew 4:1-11; Luke 4:1-13).
Matthew wrote for Jewish Christians who would have been familiar with Hebrew Scriptures. For example, the final temptation in the desert is set on a mountain. Matthew’s audience would have connected mountains with God’s actions in the Old Testament, especially the giving of the Law to Moses on Mount Sinai. In Matthew, Jesus teaches the Sermon on the Mount and, on a mountain, commissions the Apostles to teach all nations.
Matthew wrote in the 80s for the Jewish Christian Church of Antioch in Syria, one of the largest cities of the Roman Empire. Although he kept about 80 percent of Mark’s Gospel, he added large amounts of Jesus’ teachings, including many parables. Matthew taught that Jesus did not “come to abolish the law or the prophets.” Rather, in Jesus, all Israel’s hopes were fulfilled. Throughout the centuries, the Church has read Matthew with the same assurance that God is faithful to his promises.
Scripture background by Joe McHugh. Lesson guide by the staff of
CATECHIST. Art by Ansgar Holmberg, CSJ. Design by Ellen Wright.
* copy of this guide
* the liturgical calendar on pp. 28-29 in the November/December 2010 issue of CATECHIST, mounted on poster board. In PROCEDURE below, you may find the text in bold italics to be helpful verbatim.
1. Introduce the Church year.
The Church year has different seasons, like the different seasons in nature. They are called “liturgical seasons.”
2. Help students understand the liturgical calendar.
This calendar will help us understand the seasons and feasts of the Church year and prepare us to hear the Gospel proclaimed at Mass on Sundays. The liturgical seasons are printed here around the outside edge of the calendar. The first liturgical season in the Church year is Advent.
Point to the word “ADVENT.”
Following Advent is Christmas Time.
Continue in a clockwise direction, naming each season. Then point to a single block.
Each block represents a Sunday. The Scripture reference in each block is the Gospel we hear proclaimed at Mass that day.
3. Orient students to the beginning and the end of the Church year.
The liturgical year begins with Advent.
What is the date of the First Sunday of Advent this year?
How many weeks are in Advent?
4. Explain liturgical colors.
Why is violet, the color of penance and preparation, appropriate for ADVENT and LENT?
Why is white, the color of innocence and joy, appropriate for CHRISTMAS TIME and EASTER TIME?
Why is green, the color of hope, appropriate for ORDINARY TIME?
5. Tell students that each year the Church proclaims a particular Gospel more than the other Gospels.
Which Gospel will be proclaimed most often during this Church year?
(Share some of the information about Matthew in the Background found in the material above.)
Which Gospel is proclaimed most in ADVENT and CHRISTMAS TIME?
Which Gospel is proclaimed most during LENT and EASTER TIME?
6. Mention details about the Triduum.
What are the dates of the Triduum in this Church year?
How many days are there in a triduum?
What do we remember and celebrate on the days of the Triduum?
(Explain that the days of the Triduum are counted according to the Jewish custom of measuring days from sunset to sunset. The first day of the Triduum begins at sunset on Holy Thursday and ends at sunset on Good Friday. The second day begins at sunset on Good Friday and ends at sunset on Holy Saturday. The third day begins at sunset on Holy Saturday and ends at sunset on Easter Sunday.)
7. Draw attention to Marian feasts.
What days are marked with a rose?
Who do we honor in a special way on these days?
8. Point out the holy days of obligation for this year—starting with Advent.
9. Point to the lively images that artist Ansgar Holmberg, CSJ, created in the center of the calendar.
These images are connected to Gospel stories we will hear throughout the Church year. Which images do you recognize?
to find an Image Key that identifies the images in the artwork.)
10. Conclude by explaining that, as a class, you will use the liturgical calendar each week to learn about the Sunday Gospel and be prepared to hear proclaimed the teachings of Jesus that help us live our faith every day.