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Gathering Ritual5th Sunday of Lent • March 18, 2018 • Jesus Is Like a Grain of WheatSunday Readings: Jeremiah 31:31–34; Hebrews 5:7–9; John 12:20–33Play and Sing: Play and sing “Come Gather” from the Seeds Music CD (CD-2, #2) or “Take This and Eat” from the Promise/Good News Music CD (CD-1 #21). Lyrics are available to download and print at We live in communion with God in the grace of Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the community of the Holy Spirit. We begin—All: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.First ReadingLeader 1: A reading from the prophet Jeremiah 31:31–34. In our First Reading Jeremiah prophesies that God will establish a new relationship with the People of Israel and give the people new, spiritual hearts.The Lord says, “The time is coming when I will makea new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. It will not be like the old covenant that I made at the conclusion of the First Reading with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt. Although I was like a spouse to them, they did not keep my covenant.“The new covenant that I will make with the people of Israel will be this: I will put my law within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.“None of them will have to teach other Israelites to know the Lord because all will know me, from the least to the greatest. I will forgive their sins and I will no lon- ger remember their wrongs. I, the Lord, have spoken.”(Consider making red hearts for all the children to give out as an extension of the first reading with the words, “We have God’s law planted in our hearts.”)GospelLeader: Let us prepare to listen to the Gospel.All: Loving God open our ears to hear your call. Open our eyes to see the Holy Spirit in our lives. Open our hearts to live the Gospel.Reader: A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (John 12:20–33). Use the Gospel in reader parts from Venture or Visions.ReflectionGod gathers us together as a people. The history of God’s dealing with the People of Israel, and with us, tells us that God does not reach out to us merely as individuals. God reaches out to draw us together as a people, into communities. The bonds of love which link Christians together are what make God’s love visible to others.The Second Vatican Council calls the Church the “lasting and sure seed of unity, hope, and salvation for the whole human race” (Lumen Gentium, 9). The love others see among Christians calls them to join the family of God. We hold the power of life and love with us as seeds hold within them the power to grow and multiply a hundredfold. Let us explore the grain of wheat metaphor in our sessions.Concluding PrayerLeader: What are some ideas about how you can bethe single grain of wheat in the world today?Leader: Unless the grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone.All: Transform our self-serving into self-giving.Leader: Jesus, you are the seed that has fallen in our earth and lived.All: In you we see God’s irrepressible life.Leader: You call us to plant our gifts in one another’s lives with the hope of furious blooming.All: May our love give life. Amen.© 2018 P aum Publishing Group, a division of Bayard, Inc. The Gospel for All Ages Family Catechesis program is a free resource available to parishes, schools, and families who use P aum Gospel Weeklies. They may also reproduce the Family Corner feature for use in digital and print publications. (800-543-4383) gospelweeklies.comFamily Catechesis

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