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 the feast of Pentecost we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit given to us by Jesus. Begin by drawing symbols for the Holy Spirit such as wind, fire and a dove on a large sheet of paper or a chalkboard. Invite the children to describe each symbol. Discuss:
- How is the Holy Spirit like fire?
- How is the Holy Spirit like wind?
- How is the Holy Spirit like a dove?
- What does the Holy Spirit help us to do?
Allow time for discussion. We have received the gift of the Holy Spirit at our Baptism. The Holy Spirit helps us to live as followers of Jesus.
Listening to the Word of God
In the Gospel today listen to find out what gift Jesus gives to his disciples.
Read John 20:19-23.
Allow for silence.
Scripture Discussion Starters
- Why were the disciples behind locked doors?
- What gift does Jesus give the disciples?
- What happens to the disciples when they receive the gift of the Holy Spirit?
Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the gospel.
Today’s Gospel begins with the disciples gathered behind locked doors because they are afraid. 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.”
The Holy Spirit strengthens the disciple’s faith. It fills them with courage, strength and joy. Jesus gives his disciples the gift of the Spirit so that they can go forth and make the world a better place.
Questions for Deeper Reflection
- How did the Holy Spirit help the disciples?
- How does the Holy Spirit help you?
- When does the Holy Spirit fill you with joy?
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 in faith.
In the New Testament the Spirit is described as descending upon Jesus at his baptism. However, the fullness of the Holy Spirit was meant not only for Jesus. The gift of the Spirit is meant for the entire people of God. Jesus promised the gift of the Holy Spirit for his Church.
- When do we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit?
- How does your Baptism help you to live as a follower of Jesus?
- How does the Holy Spirit help you to tell others about Jesus?
The Gospel in Life
The Holy Spirit gives us courage, joy, peace and strength. How can you be a sign of the Holy Spirit’s presence this week?
Connecting to Be My Disciples
Grade 1, p. 73
Grade 2, p. 66
Grade 3, p. 58
Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition
At Home Family Guide, theme 5
Kindergarten, chapter 18
Grade 1, page 281 Parish and page 385 School, and chapter 7
Grade 2, page 281 Parish and page 385 School, and chapter 9
Grade 3, page 281 Parish and page 385 School, and chapters 21 and 7
Blest Are We
Grade 1, chapters 14, 18
Grade 2, chapters 17, 20
Grade 3, chapter 8