This lesson is all about the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist – understanding it better, but even more important is helping your family to have a greater love for His presence there! To help you do this, we’re going to start with stories of two saints who were about the same age as your kids! St. Therese is modern enough that we have photographs of her and tomorrow I’ll post a little photo album for you to share with your kids.
Even when she was little and people asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up, she’d say, “I want to be a saint!” When Therese was preparing for her first Communion, she decided that she would begin to do little acts of kindness for others and she imagined that each of them was a flower that she would offer to Jesus on her first Communion day. It was her goal to be able to offer Him a whole garden full of these “flowers.” Throughout her life, Therese received Communion many more times and she always prepared this beautiful bouquet for Jesus through her small acts of kindness and prayer.
The second story is about Saint Tarcisius who was a young boy in ancient Rome. There were many persecuted Christians in prison at that time awaiting violent and brutal executions. The Pope knew they needed strength to remain faithful to the end and he wanted to bring them the Eucharist but that seemed impossible until young Tarcisius offered to sneak it in to them.
It is hard to understand how Jesus and the host can be one in the same, so this next part of the lesson is to help your kids work on the concept of faith*. We believe in lots of things that we’ve never seen, so start there. You really can’t see the wind or electricity, but you can see the effects of them. It’s a similar situation with the Eucharist – we cannot see the change before and after the prayers of Consecration, but receiving Holy Communion over time (hopefully) has an effect on our lives and we become more and more like Jesus.
There are two activities for this lesson; the first one will illustrate the concept that we can believe something based on the authority of someone we trust, and who is more trustworthy than Jesus, Himself? The second activity is just a dramatic retelling of the story of the Last Supper. We’d love to see you go all out with snacks (bread and grape juice, of course), costumes, and a dramatic reading, but even if you don’t have 13 actors for this little drama, do your best to make sure your family is familiar with this very important Bible story!
*Faith can be defined as “the acceptance of the word of another, trusting in that person’s authority or right to be believed. By faith, one adheres in intellect to the truth revealed by God because of God’s authority rather than the evidence given.” In a Christian usage, faith is a disposition of the intellect, but also involves an act of the will, which is moved by the grace of God to believe.” Catholic Dictionary, Stravinskas.
I’m also going to go ahead and add the “It’s all about Jesus” icon to this post and I really can’t say it better than the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1324: