1. Opening Prayer and Scripture (6:30-6:35 PM)

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1 Level 6, Lesson Plan 14, Chapter 16: "The Beatitudes" Dinner with Father (5:30-6:30) Primary Aim: Jesus' blessings are available to all. Materials: Bibles, evaluations, pencils, rosaries, Prayer handout, index cards Key Words (Vocabulary): beatitude: the promise of true happiness made by Jesus to those who follow him faithfully; they sum up the blessings and joys in store for people who follow Jesus and his way of life. Explanation 1. Opening Prayer and Scripture (6:30-6:35 PM) Opening Prayer: The Beatitudes Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Catholic Prayer: "Hail Mary" (with emphasis on "...blessed art though among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.") Scripture Reading: Matthew 5: "New Law" (6:35-6:40 PM) Jesus was baptized at age 30 by John the Baptist. Following his baptism, Jesus was led into the desert by the Spirit and prepared for his public ministry. After 40 days in the desert where he prayed, fasted and overcame the devil's temptations, Jesus set out to preach the Good News of God's Kingdom. Jesus was a teacher and miracle worker. He built on the Ten Commandments. The Old Law commands with "you shall not" prohibitions. o One could follow the Ten Commandments out of duty but in one's heart not embrace the spirit of the Law. Jesus fulfilled the Old Law in the New Law by giving positive exhortations (in contrast to the "you shall not prohibitions") to live the Christian life.

2 Among these exhortations are those called the Beatitudes o A beatitude is a blessing. o They are promises of true happiness made by Jesus to those who follow him faithfully. o They sum up the blessings and joys in store for people who follow Jesus and his way of life. o For each beatitude, there is a promise. o The Beatitudes are part of the "Sermon on the Mount" (Mt 5:1-12) and "Sermon on the Plain" (Luke 6:20-23). 3. Activity (6:40-7:00 PM) For each beatitude, write on an index card why the subject of that beatitude is a good thing. E.g., "Why is being poor in spirit a good thing?", "Why is mourning a good thing?", etc. Give each student one of the cards. On the other side of their card have each student write an answer to their question. Have the students share their question and their answer to it with the rest of the class. Discuss. (The outlines for 4 and 5 below can be incorporated in the discussion as each Beatitude is brought up.) 4. "The Beatitudes" (7:00-7:10 PM) "Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 5:3). o Who are the poor in Spirit? Those who may have material possessions but who are ready to give them up when self-sacrifice is called for. o How are they different than the poor? Why is spiritual poverty important? We cannot serve two masters. Spiritual poverty means that we place God above all things, even our material possessions. We must trust in God completely, listen to his words in our lives, and follow his call. When Jesus calls, the poor in Spirit leave all things to follow him. o Have the students think of an empty pail. Imagine two large items that could go in this pail, but only one will fit at a time. This is how it is with God and worldly treasures. We can only truly fit one of them in our hearts. If we fill our hearts with worldly treasures then we cannot fill our heart with God. Our hearts were made to be filled with God, and we will be most happy (and blessed) when we empty ourselves of material things and become filled with God. o "Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven" is the blessing or promise of the first beatitude. We will be so full of the love and life of God (grace) that we will continue to live in his love for all of eternity. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted" (Mt 5:4). o Who are those who mourn? The mourners are those who have sorrow for sin.

3 We should mourn sin, for in sin we offend God and hurt ourselves. o "They shall be comforted" is the blessing or promise of the second beatitude. The Holy Spirit is known as the "Comforter" or Consoler." In our times of sadness, we are never alone, for God is with us. "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" (Mt 5:5). o Who are the meek? The meek are people who bear offenses patiently, humbly accepting God's will. They are temperate and restrain their anger and do not harbor ill will toward those who offend them. o "They shall inherit the earth" is the blessing or promise of the third beatitude. We will live in the reign of God here on earth and will not be controlled by power, self-importance, or money. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied" (Mt 5:6). o Who are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness? These are the people who want what God wants (note: the Our Father, "Thy will be done"). God will help us to do his will; and if we cooperate with his grace, his will shall be done? o "They shall be satisfied" is the blessing or promise of the fourth beatitude. God will be our satisfaction and will fulfill our desires if we desire his will in our lives. 5. "Sons of God" (7:10-7:20 PM) "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy" (Mt 5:7). o Who are the merciful? The merciful exercise the corporal and spiritual works of mercy out of love for God. o What is mercy? Mercy is the gift of loving someone who may be difficult to love (and often includes forgiveness) It is the ability to love the ungrateful or unjust (like criminals or sinners). o Who is all merciful? We should imitate Jesus' merciful love for us. o "They shall obtain mercy" is the blessing or promise of the fifth beatitude. In giving mercy, we too understand how we are unjust and ungrateful to God, and we seek his love and mercy which he readily offers to us. "Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God" (Mt 5:8). o Who are the pure of heart? Purity means being singular (like pure sugar or pure olive oil). To be pure of heart is to reserve your whole heart for God and his ways and to live in a way that is pleasing to him. We must be single-hearted and disciplined in our love of God above all things, not allowing sin and earthly desires to enter into our thoughts, hearts, or actions.

4 o "They shall see God" is the blessing or promise of the sixth beatitude. When we always seek God and his ways, he will reveal himself to us. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God" (Mt 5:9). o Who are the peacemakers? We are not simply speaking of those who end wars, although that is a clear example. A peacemaker wants unity between both parties. Peacemakers go out of their way to remove obstacles that keep people apart. They work hard at bringing sinners back to God (e.g., spiritual works of mercy: "admonish the sinner " and "instruct the ignorant.") How can we do this in our daily lives? (E.g., invite someone to receive the Sacrament of Penance when you are going.) (Have the students think of ways they can be peacemakers even within their families.) o "They shall be called sons of God" is the blessing or promise of the seventh beatitude." We will be part of God's family in the Communion of Saint for we have shared God's love with others in the world. "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Mt 5:10). o Who are those persecuted for righteousness sake? Sometimes people do not want to hear the truth; and the truth-teller is persecuted, punished, or disliked. We must always speak the truth and not compromise---even when it becomes difficult. God will give us courage and strength. (Can the students think of examples where courage is needed to speak the truth? E.g., to stand against abortion, euthanasia.) o "Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven" is the blessing or promise of the eighth beatitude. In uniting ourselves with the suffering of Christ, we share in his glory. 6. "Christian Living" (7:20-7:25 PM) We cannot by our own strength be perfect, as the Beatitudes call us to be. o Remember, because of the stain of original sin we have fallen natures and a tendency to sin. o We need God's grace so that we can live according to his laws. o How can we stay in the state of grace? Keep God's commandments, pray for grace, receive the sacraments, grow in virtues, etc. In addition to grace, which is a share of God's life in us, God has given us a very special gift to help us on our journey to become saints: the sacraments. We can encounter Christ in his sacraments: o Baptism: Christ baptizes us into God's family. o Penance: Christ forgives our sins and reconciles us to God and his Church.

5 o Confirmation: Christ anoints us with the Holy Spirit, making us his soldiers and witnesses to carry on his ministry. o Holy Orders: Christ ordains those in Holy Orders to be his ministers, so that they may bring Christ to the world in the sacraments. o Matrimony: Christ units a man and a woman together as models of his love for the Church. o Anointing of the Sick: Christ anoints the sick, preparing them for their entrance to heaven to be united with him forever. o Eucharist: Christ makes himself present on the altar and gives us himself so that we can be united with him in Communion. This is the greatest sacrament, for it is Christ himself. We should adore our Eucharistic Lord and visit him daily. 7. Evaluation (7:25-7:30 PM) Fill in the blank and True or False answer key. 1. Jesus began his public ministry at around age thirty with his baptism. 2. Jesus abolished the Old Law which includes the "you shall not" prohibitions of the Ten Commandments. True or False, Jesus fulfilled the Old Law in the New by giving positive exhortations to live the Christian life. 3. The Beatitudes sum up the blessings and joys in store for people who follow Jesus and his way of life. 4. The second part of each beatitude consists of a blessing or promise. 5. God has given us the very special gift of the sacraments to help us on our journey to become saints: Write one or more petitions to pray during our Intercessory Prayers. For We pray to the Lord. Conclusion: prayer in the Church (7:30-8:00 pm) Exposition Hymn: Father I adore you Intercessory Prayers Divine Mercy Chaplet Hymn: Sanctuary Benediction

6 Divine Praises Hymn: "Give Me Jesus"

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