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      For Catechists and Teachers
 Observing Lent, Celebrating Easter
Each Lent, the whole Church works to deepen our response to Jesus. The activities in the Venture lessons for Lent are on the
Ten Commandments. The children will continue to learn how to recognize and practice what the Commandments ask of them now as middle-graders. They understand that Jesus’ New Law of Love does not negate the Commandments but goes beyond them.
On the last two Sundays of Lent—the last lesson in unit three and the  rst in unit four—the children will  nd their faith in Jesus summed up in two memorable Gospels. First, in John 3:14–21, they heard the familiar words that God so loved the world that God sent his Son—not to condemn us, but to save us. Then, in John 12:20–33, the children will read about Jesus as the grain of wheat that dies
in order to produce much fruit. Jesus is the cruci ed one, by whose lifting up to the right hand of the Father he gathers all of us to him.
Holy Week celebrates the mystery of redemption, God becoming one of us in Jesus in order that we humans might become one with God. We share Jesus’ relationship with God. After his Resurrection, Jesus commissions Mary Magdalene to tell all his friends, “I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God” (John 20:17).
Easter brings the joy of recognizing that Jesus’ self-giving love is life-giving to his Church. In the combined lesson for Easter
Sunday and the 2nd Sunday of Easter, three young neophytes (new Christian converts) witness how the community of faith supports and nurtures them as they commit in Baptism to live as followers of Jesus.
May is Mary’s month. Venture celebrates by leading the children to understand her place in salvation history. Liturgy- based religious education has as its yearly focus the two great doctrinal mysteries of our faith—the Incarnation at Christmas and Jesus’ Death and Resurrection at Easter. Mary is central to both mysteries. Her response to God made her truly Mother of God and mother of Jesus, who is fully human and fully divine. Mary was also present at the Cross and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. She is Mother of the Church, a witness to Jesus present with us in all ages.
Unit 4 Gospel Background
This unit of Venture completes Lent and moves toward Easter, spring, and the culmination of the year. Jesus’ su ering, Death, and Resurrection mark our Christian faith. Jesus calls us to follow, to take up our own crosses, and to give ourselves in love and faithfulness to one another. Christians are Easter people who believe new life is possible and who follow Jesus’ one commandment: love one another.
     March 18, 2018 5th Sunday of Lent
April 1 & April 8, 2018 Easter & 2nd Easter
John 12:20–33
Jesus Is Like a Grain of Wheat
7th, 9th, and 10th Commandments
Life and dignity of the human person
        March 25, 2018 Palm/Passion Sunday
Mark 14:1–15.47 Jesus’ Passion
The Exodus from Egypt
Solidarity; life and dignity of the human person
        John 20:1–9/John 20:19–31 Jesus Is Risen
Call to community
        April 15, 2018
3rd Sunday of Easter
Luke 24:35–48
Jesus Appears to His Disciples
Resurrection appearances
Call to community
        April 22, 2018
4th Sunday of Easter
John 10:11–18
Jesus Is the Good Shepherd
Shepherd imagery
Call to community, family, and participation; care for Creation
        April 29, 2018
5th Sunday of Easter
John 15:1–8
Jesus Is the Vine, We Are the Branches
Nature imagery
Rights and responsibilities; solidarity
        May 6, 2018
6th Sunday of Easter
John 15:9–17 Love One Another
Mary, Jesus’ mother
Call to community; solidarity
       May 13, 2018
Ascension of the Lord/7th Sunday of Easter
Mark 16:15–20/John 17:11b–19 Jesus’ Disciples Are His Witnesses
Holy Spirit
Call to community, family, and participation
Imprimatur: +Most Reverend Robert J. McManus, S.T.D., Bishop of Worcester, January 23, 2018.
Venture Teaching Guide (supplement to Pflaum Gospel Weeklies) copyright © 2018 by Pflaum Publishing Group, a division of Bayard, Inc., sponsored by the Augustinians of the Assumption. Editorial Director: David Dziena; Editor: Nicholle Check; Designer: Jennifer Poferl. Printed in the USA. Material in this supplement may not be reproduced in whole or in part in any form or format without special permission from the publisher.
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