Let us pray.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful;
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
(from the Gospel Alleluia, Pentecost)
Opening Life Reflection
On Pentecost we celebrate the gift of the Spirit received at Baptism. To begin today’s session write – Wind, Fire, and Dove, or draw symbols for each on a large sheet of paper or chalkboard. Invite the children to look at each symbol and choose one to describe the Holy Spirit.
- How do each of these symbols describe the Holy Spirit?
- How does the Holy Spirit help us to follow Jesus?
Allow time for discussion. On the feast of Pentecost we remember that we were given the gift of the Holy Spirit at our Baptism. The Holy Spirit helps us to live faith-filled lives.
Listening to the Word of God
In the first reading from Acts listen to how the disciples receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Read Acts 2:1-11.
Allow for silence.
Scripture Discussion Starters
- How do the disciples receive the gift of the Spirit?
- What happens to the disciples?
- How does the crowd react?
In the Gospel today listen to find out what great gift Jesus gives to his disciples.
Read John 20:19-23.
Allow for silence.
- Why were the disciples behind locked doors?
- How does Jesus greet them?
- What great gift does Jesus give to the disciples?
Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the readings.
The reading from Acts presents the story of the Spirit descending upon the disciples. When the Holy Spirit comes, there is a rush of wind and tongues of fire appear and rest on each disciple. We can only imagine the excitement and exhilaration that the disciples must have felt as they began to speak in other languages. The disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit. They were empowered to boldly proclaim the good news and they gave witness to the world of the wonders of God.
The Gospel passage today begins with the disciples gathered behind locked doors filled with fear. Then something wonderful happens. Jesus appears to his friends and their fear turns into joy. Jesus greets the disciples with the calming words, “Peace be with you.” Then he breathes on them saying, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Jesus empowers his disciples for an important mission of reconciliation. They are empowered to go out and heal the world.
Questions for Deeper Reflection
- Name all the symbols for the Holy Spirit found in these readings.
- How can the Holy Spirit help you to move from fear to joy?
- How does the Holy Spirit help you to make the world a better place?
If you are not going to continue with the doctrinal discussion, proceed to the Gospel in Life.
Doctrinal Discussion Starters
The gifts of the Spirit and the Sacrament of Confirmation
On Pentecost the gift of the Holy Spirit is given to the disciples. We too receive the gift of the Holy Spirit at Baptism. The Sacrament of Confirmation completes Baptism and seals us with the gift of the Spirit so that we may be strengthened to go forth and bear witness to Christ, as did the first apostles.
In the New Testament the Spirit is described as descending upon Jesus at his baptism. But the fullness of the Holy Spirit was meant not only for Jesus, but also for the entire people of God. Jesus promised that the outpouring of the Spirit would be the gift that he would send to his Church.
- How is the Holy Spirit present in the Church?
- How is the Holy Spirit present within us?
- How does celebrating Pentecost help you to remember your baptism?
The Gospel in Life
All Christians receive the gift of the Holy Spirit at Baptism. How can you live as a Spirit–filled Christian this week?
Connecting to Be My Disciples
Grade 4, p. 65-66
Grade 5, p. 86
Grade 6, p. 86
Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition
At Home Family Guide, theme 5
Grade 4, page 281 Parish and page 385 School, and chapter 8
Grade 5, page 281 Parish and page 385 School, and chapter 8 and 13
Grade 6, page 281 Parish and page 385 School, and chapter 7
Blest Are We
Grade 4, chapter 10
Grade 5, chapter 6
Grade 7, chapter 1