'Round the Table' Family Catechesis

Freedom II, The Holy Mass, Part 2 (10)

SUBJECT: Israel worshipped God through prayer, study and work

AIMS:

  1. To understand that Jesus was born in Israel in the Jewish family, and to get to know and understand His teaching we must learn about Jewish religious and cultural roots.
  2. To know and understand the events of Exodus: vocation of Moses, 10th Plague, 10 Commandments
  3. To understand that events on the road from slavery to the Promised Land had an influence on the way and the place in which Israel worshiped God and on the way we worship God
  4. To understand that the historical events of the Exodus are made present to all generations and therefore they are also made present in our lives.
  5. To understand how the calling of Moses had influenced the way Israel worshiped God.

What happened on the way from Slavery to the Promised Land?
 
Why are these events important to us?
 (Whatever God has done in the past, He has done for all generations, so he is doing it in our life. These events influenced the way Mary, Joseph and Jesus worshipped God, and the way we worship God.)

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Today we will learn how the events on the way from slavery to freedom has influenced the way Israel worshipped God.
These are our next puzzle pieces:

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Based on what we have learned about Vocation during the last session and at home, we can add more pieces of puzzle.

  • How has the Vocation of Moses influenced the way Israel worshipped God? What can be the symbol of Vocation?
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Israel worshipped God in prayer and through learning and work. The symbol of Vocation can be a hand caring for the new life.

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CATECHESIS 7b

SUBJECT: Israel worshipped God through prayer, study and work

AIMS:

  1. To understand that sacrifice was always offered for communion and also as thanksgiving for being saved from death, fatal illness or from oppression. Understanding the meaning of Memorial.
  2. To understand that Sacrifice is a seal of communion between God and people with each other, it protects from the Angel of Death and it saves life.
  3. To understand where and how has Israel celebrated the Passover.
  4. To understand that the bread and wine were offered at the dinner table during thanksgiving prayer daily as well as during ritual celebrations.
  5. To understand that exteriorization of the external sacrifice as well as offering sacrificial offering of one’s own life was important part the sacrificial ritual.
  • How has the Sacrifice of the Paschal Lamb influenced the way Israel worshipped God? What could be symbols of Sacrifice?

Let’s remind ourselves the events of the 10th plaque and our dramatization of the 10th plaque:
- Two families: Egyptian and Jewish

In the Jewish family:
- Sacrificing the lamb (breaking the paper lamb)
- Smearing the doorpost with the blood of lamb (blood in the chalice, paper door, small branch to smear the doorposts)
- Consuming the lamb, being ready for the rode. Everyone “eats a piece of lamb. “bones” are collected in order to be buried.
- Passover of the Angel of Death

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- Death of all first in the Egyptian family.

Israel was able to leave slavery now! It was such an important event that God has commanded Israel to celebrate that day:

The Feast of Passover
While guiding the nation of Israel from slavery, God commanded them to celebrate every year the feast of Passover (Exodus) as a memorial day:
“This day will be a day of remembrance for you, and you must celebrate it as a feast in the Lord’s honour. For all generations you are to declare it a day of celebration, for ever” (Exodus 12:14)

  • What is “a day of remembrance”, a “memorial day”, or “doing something in memory”?

To understand this we need to remind ourselves that God and Eternity are outside of chronological time. "I am the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."

During the celebration of the memorial of the Passover, when people recall the events of sacred history, they enter, not only into the past, but also, in some sense, into the actuality of what happened. The past deliverance and the life-giving love of God are made present as a timeless, eternal event.

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Every year, on the feast of the Passover, all the people from the whole of Israel came to Jerusalem,
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to offer the sacrifice of the lamb in the temple and to express communion with God and with each other. It was often a few days journey, especially for those who lived in the area of Galilee.  In Jerusalem, there was only one Temple in Israel. After Exodus people were not allowed to sacrifice animals by themselves anymore, as the ancient Israeli tribes did. The sacrificial blood - that was smeared over the doorposts protected from the angel of death and saved their life – became holy and only priest could touch it. So people had to offer sacrifices in the Temple. They would give the lamb to the Priest who sacrificed it on the altar, the blood that was holy would go to the ground through the special hole in the floor of the Temple. Then the Priest would return the Lamb to the family, they would take it home, cook it and eat it, celebrating Passover Memorial.
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They celebrated the day of remembrance by making present all the events of the Exodus and by eating lamb in the company of loved ones. Every year Joseph, Mary and Jesus walked to Jerusalem together with other families from Nazareth to celebrate the feast of Passover.
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We now know how the Sacrifice of the Passover lamb has influenced the way Israel has worshipped God. We can add next puzzles:
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Offering the bread and wine:
Thanksgiving has not been restricted to a bloody sacrifice of the flesh.

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It has also embraced the unbloody offering of the bread:

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Offering thanksgiving sacrifice included the custom of blessing God for life and especially the sources of life.
Grace before meal was the ritual with bread:
“Blessed are you Lord, God of all creation, for through your goodness we have received this bread we offer you”
Grace after the meal was the ritual over the wine:
“Blessed are you Lord of all creation for through your goodness we have received this wine we offer you”
What can be a symbol of Sacrifice?

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During the sacrificial ritual offering of one’s own life was very important.
Interiorization of the external sacrifice; sacrificial suffering of one’s own life was to be offered.

Psalm 51: “The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise”

RESPONDING TO GOD’S WORD

  1. Every year Joseph, Mary and Jesus walked to Jerusalem together with other families from Nazareth to celebrate the feast of Passover. It was a few days long journey and often man and women walked separately. When Jesus was 12 years old, on the way back from Jerusalem to Nazareth, Mary and Joseph discovered that Jesus is with neither of them.

Read the story about the 12 years old Jesus in the Temple in Luke 2:41-50.
Children draw two scenes from this story.


CATECHESIS 7c

SUBJECT: Israel reflected on and observed the commandments of God. Israel worshipped God through listening to God’s Word.

AIMS:

1. To understand that in order to be truly free we need the Good Shepherd guidance but we also need 10 Commandments.

2. To know and understand 10 Commandments.
3. To understand how and where has Israel meditated on the 10 Commandments

  • When and for what purpose did God give the Israelites the 10 Commandments?

Before the Israelites entered the Promised Land, God gave them the 10 Commandments so that they could be truly free and live in communion with God, with others and with themselves

You can find the 10 Commandments in the Bible, in the book of Exodus 20: 2-17.

These commandments are of particular importance for Jews and Christians, who consider them to be the most important commandments of God. This is the reason why from the earliest times they are important in Christian preaching as the principles of the life of faith.
God's commandments specify the basic conditions to maintain living community through communion between God and His people. They invite believers to co-participation in the liberation of all mankind begun by God so that the image of God is preserved in all people and all could live in freedom.

Presentation of the 10 Commandments starts from God introducing himself to the people as the one who liberates. Israel should not worship other gods, because He is the God of Israel, which He led out of slavery in Egypt. Since the Israelites owe their liberation to God - they will not oppress other people, and they will fight for the rights of the weak and oppressed.

10 Commandments:

I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt,
out of the house of bondage.

1. You shall have no other gods before me.

2. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

3. Remember to keep holy the LORD'S Day.

4. Honour your father and your mother.

5. You shall not kill.

6. You shall not commit adultery.

7. You shall not steal.

8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.

9. You shall not covet* your neighbour’s wife.
10. You shall not covet* your neighbour’s goods.

*To covet is to desire wrongfully without due regard for the rights of others.

You can also find the 10 commandments in the Bible book of Deuteronomy 5:6-21.

  • How has 10 Commandments influenced the way Israel worshiped God?

Jews listened to, reflected on, and observed the commandments of God. In every Sabbath – Lord’s Day - Israelites went to the synagogue to pray and to listen to God's Word.

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Jesus, by the example of His life, showed how to obey God's commandments and how to live in communion. He prayed. He taught in the synagogues and read the Holy Scriptures there. He taught the crowds by telling parables and explained how to love God and neighbour giving many examples.

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What can be a symbol of the 10 Commandments?

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  • What is the meaning of the 10th Commandments?

The first commandment forbids worship of false gods. For us, Christians, this means - a call to abiding faith in a truly liberating God and responding to His gift of self by offering ourselves to Him.
False and enslaving gods of our times are: power, desire for fame, money, addictions.

The second commandment prescribes respect for the Lord's name. The Lord's name is holy. For this reason we must not abuse it and we must keep it in mind in silent, loving adoration. We should not introduce it into our own speech except to bless, praise, and glorify it.

The third commandment warns people not to be consumed by work, and not to forget about God while fulfilling their daily duties. They should share in the Creator’s resting time every seventh day. They should make time for him, for themselves and for others and submit to His restoring action.


The fourth commandment is a warning: A nation, in which the younger generation does not give the honour due to parents, cannot continue its existence.

The fifth commandment primarily protects those who cannot defend themselves. It contains not only the prohibition of killing, but also a call to defend the rights of all people and to create more humane living conditions.

The sixth and ninth commandments aim to protect from damage by selfishness the communion of men and women, love within marriage (conjugal love), which should be a reflection of God's faithfulness.

The seventh and tenth commandments indicate that order and ownership are an absolute prerequisite for living together. God wants people to live in freedom. Therefore, He gave them the “Promised Land” – their own property. These commandments are not just about the protection of the ownership of the property. Whoever owns a property must conscientiously manage it. He has a freedom to use it, but not to abuse it. It is not only for himself, but it should serve all people.

The eighth commandment tells us to understand that everything that is based on falsehood and hypocrisy is temporary – It will never create lasting values. A lie can destroy the freedom and dignity of man.

You can also find the 10 Commandments in the Bible book of Deuteronomy 5:6-21. Below is the famous fragment from the book o Deuteronomy known as Shema (Listen)
The Great Commandment:
Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone!
5 Therefore, you shall love the LORD, your God, with your whole heart, and with your whole being, and with your whole strength. 
Take to heart these words, which I command you today. Keep repeating them to your children. Recite them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you get up. 20 Later on, when your son asks you, “What do these decrees and statutes and ordinances mean?”, which the LORD, our God, has enjoined on you, 21 you shall say to your son, “We were once slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand.He brought us from there to bring us in and give us the land he had promised on oath to our ancestors. 24 The LORD commanded us to observe all these statutes in fear of the LORD, our God, that we may always have as good a life as we have today.

(According to verses marked in red, God instructed parents to communicate the faith to children, and therefore already then instituted Family Catechesis :-))


RESPONDING TO GOD’S WORD:

  • Children put the puzzle in order couple of times
  • Parents discuss with children the meaning of 10 Commandments
  • Invite children to draw in response to what they have heard
  • Parents help children to memorize the 10 Commandments