This month in class we learned about the physical presence of God with us and this lesson starts with a little Old Testament history on the topic. Anyone who has seen Indiana Jones knows something about the Ark of the Covenant and the Presence of Almighty God within. It was a beautiful sacred vessel – pure gold – housed in a special tent and within that in a special room called the Holy of Holies. Eventually, the Temple was built in Jerusalem, but it was still the same set up where certain people wearing certain vestment and performing certain actions were the only ones permitted within. If anyone did not meet these specific requirements, they were not worthy to be there and would be struck dead if they tried!
This lesson is a perfect example of the New Covenant fulfilling and completing the Old because when Christ came He changed everything and through the sacraments and especially the Eucharist He makes this place, our bodies, into living temples where He really and truly dwells right now.
The first activity focuses on this reality that your heart can be a tabernacle and that you should do all you can to make it a beautiful dwelling place for God. One of the things you can do is to focus better on what is happening in the Mass so you can enter in and really meet Jesus there. The Tabernacle of My Heart activity offers prayers for both before and after Communion (a time when it’s especially easy to get distracted by all the activity), and gives younger kids an image on which to focus and help minimize those distractions. We recommend you take a little time to let your kids decorate their Jesus pictures as beautifully as possible. (As much as I frown on glitter, I have to admit this may be a really good time to get it out and make your projects radiantly beautiful!)
The second project illustrates a concept so simple that it’s easy to miss just how profound it really is. Simply put – if I believe that Christ can live in me, it’s only logical that he can live in you as well. Obvious, right? The challenge is remembering that this applies to everyone including that annoying sibling, that mean kid at school, that terrible driver who cut you off on the freeway this morning, and even that person who wronged you so grievously that you wonder if you’ll ever be able to truly forgive him. Like I said, profound.
Most of us will spend our entire lives trying to recognize Christ in everyone around us and we hope to help your kids start that journey with the activity entitled Heartfinder Glasses.
Jesus, Your heart lives in all people I see. Teach me to love them as if they were Thee!
(And if you happen to get a photo of your little saints wearing their Heartfinder Glasses, send it on over. I’d love to post a few!)