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1 @ Home FAMILY Study Session Parents NOTE: CLASSES WILL NOT MEET Home Study Session days. JYM Year 1 Students and their parents may work through the Home Study Session as a family. Parents are encouraged to discuss answers to all questions with the students. OBJECTIVE To gain a better understanding of Jesus mission, how we are all called to live as Jesus lived (the Beatitudes) and how Christ is the perfect model of living the Beatitudes. OVERVIEW As an overview for this lesson, and to gain a deeper understanding of this topic, please read: Catechism (Our Vocation to Beatitude) 1 Shared / JYM 13-14/ Yr 1 Lessons / Hm Study Session

2 PROCLAIM The Way of Christ Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Jesus gives us the way to live life to the fullest. The Way of Christ leads to life ; a contrary way leads to destruction. (Catechism 1696, Mt 7:13, Deut 30:15-20) Everyone needs a purpose in life, beyond selfishness, something to live for. What does this statement mean, unless we stand for something, we could fall for anything? Read Matthew 7:24-27 about the two foundations. What kind of a foundation is your house built on? The Beatitudes respond to our natural desire for happiness. But in our disordered world and sinful human hearts we search for everything in this world to bring us happiness, when the one true happiness is not of this world, it is God and the ways he teaches us. The Way of Christ can be summarized in the Beatitudes and the Virtues. (Catechism 1697) The key to happiness is not found in changing or controlling our surroundings, but rather it involves controlling how we respond to life s situations. We will never be able to control life s ups and downs, but we can control how we respond to them. If we respond in the Way of Christ, we will find internal peace, contentment, fulfillment and happiness no matter what bad things are going on around us. Those who focus on things of this world to find happiness rarely find lasting contentment (a man who loves money, never has money enough). No matter how much effort we put into it, we are not always going to win, not always going to be successful; things are not always going to go the way we want. These things rarely bring us the joy we expect them to. Jesus on the other hand offers a recipe for true happiness by focusing on what is going on inside us (Beatitudes), which is something we can control. Christ gives us a recipe to live life to the fullest. But the Way of Christ is an ironic message, and it is hard to understand until we actually try it. So we have to give it a try to experience what it is all about. Challenge yourself to at least try what is described in the Beatitudes. Beatitudes (Luke 6:20-23 and Matthew 5:1-12) The Beatitudes are at the heart of the Christian message. The greatest joy in life is that of living a truly excellent life. Through the Beatitudes God calls each Christian to greatness. Those who live in the excellent ways the Beatitudes command will be happy. (Encyclopedia of Catholic Doctrine pp ) The meaning of each Beatitude goes beyond what is summarized below, here is a partial explanation of each. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. o To be generous and giving towards others o Do not put money or material possessions above everything else o Do not seek popularity o Live for other people. o To give away all that one has, and is, means entering a blessed way of living like that of the Lord their teacher. o Remember that your heart is where your treasure is. (Luke 12:34) o Opposite behavior: greedy, selfish or materialistic 2 Shared / JYM 13-14/ Yr 1 Lessons / Hm Study Session

3 For Discussion: Do we often place too much importance on money or popularity? What is more important, the way others see us, or the way God sees us? Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. o This does not mean tears shed out of feeling sorry for ourselves but rather from showing compassion for our brothers and sisters in need. o It means being compassionate to the suffering of others. o The world we live in is full of sadness. When we live and love we will invariably encounter loss and hardship. It is part of life, it is also part of living and giving of ourselves. God promises in the next life he will wipe every tear from our eye! o It also involves letting others know when we are hurting without embarrassment. We can weep like Jesus did. o Opposite behavior: insensitive to others needs or too proud to acknowledge pain For Discussion: Is our natural tendency to ignore those suffering and to avoid suffering ourselves? Does suffering have value? Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. o Even though Christ was the most powerful man to have ever walked the face of this earth, he only exerted his power to help others. o The meek seek nothing for themselves. o The meek do not seek power. o The meek have patience for the poor and weak. o We should not always need to be in control but rather hand over control of our life to God. o It also means to be tender and gentle and not always needing to win. o Opposite behavior: power hungry, overly competitive, domineering personality For Discussion: Do we generally see the powerful of this world use their power for personal gain? Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied. o Jesus calls us to forgive our enemies, to turn the other cheek. If they steal your jacket, give them your shirt. o This beatitude also calls us to seek God s will for our life o Opposite behavior: to hold grudges and not forgive For Discussion: What is our initial reaction when someone hurts us? Do we generally want an eye for an eye (e.g. law suits)? Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy o Just like Jesus, do not be judgmental or condemning. o Rejected no one. o Love the sinner, not the sin. o Remove the log from your own eye before telling your brother to remove the splinter from his. o Do not judge and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. o Opposite behavior: judgmental and critical of others For Discussion: Are we more likely to convert someone over to God through love and compassion or through words of condemnation? (Read John 8:3-11 for examples) 3 Shared / JYM 13-14/ Yr 1 Lessons / Hm Study Session

4 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God o The pure in heart do not seek the dishonest pleasures of the world. With all their hearts they seek what is best, God. o The pure in heart see the Lord in everyone around them. o It is a call to be completely honest with God and others. A pure life is marked with openness and integrity. o Don t put on a false front or try to build yourself up in the eyes of others. o Opposite behavior: To value earthly things more than God. For Discussion: It has been said, if you do not see God in the next person you meet, it is pointless to go on searching. Why? Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God. o The Lord s greeting, Peace be with you, speaks of this. o It means to have peace of mind and heart, peace with others and God. o Internal peace and happiness are what most people are searching for, whether they realize it or not. o Seek to resolve conflict and diffuse anger. Help others to resolve their conflicts and differences. o Opposite behavior: contentiousness, to cause conflict or controversy For Discussion: How can we bring peace to others around us? Blessed are those who are persecuted because they are good, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. When you are reviled and persecuted and lied about because you are my followers - wonderful. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a tremendous reward awaits you in Heaven. (Matthew 5:3-12) o Do what is right even if you are mistreated because of your goodness. o Have such a great love that one bears their cross gladly. o Be willing to stand alone for what is right. o o Take criticism and teasing without reacting defensively or feeling self-pity. Opposite behavior: To follow others to the point of not being your own person. Easily succumb to peer pressure. For Discussion: What are some ways people are mistreated for being good (i.e. the good guy always finishes last)? Optional Service Project: Choose one beatitude to live out perfectly for a day! Recording in a journal or on paper each success or failure. For example: Choose to go last in everything for a day. Let others have the last cookie, or first choice in sitting where they choose. Take the leftover in places, food, material goods, everything; and every time it is difficult and you feel hurt or as if you are doing without, offer that suffering up to God in prayer for a person or persons in need! (This will make you more like Christ.) 1 Day =1.5 hour project (Be sure to offer your prayers for a worthy cause) 4 Shared / JYM 13-14/ Yr 1 Lessons / Hm Study Session

5 Discussion Questions 1. Do we often place too much importance on money or popularity? What is more important, the way others see us, or the way God sees us? 2. Is our natural tendency to ignore those suffering and to avoid suffering ourselves? Does suffering have value? 3. Do we generally see the powerful of this world use their power for personal gain or to help others? Give an example. 4. What is our initial reaction when someone hurts us? Do we generally want an eye for an eye (e.g. law suits)? 5. For Discussion: Are we more likely to convert someone over to God through love and compassion or through words of condemnation? (Use examples from Gospel passage of John.) 6. For Discussion: Gandhi said, if you do not see God in the next person you meet, it is pointless to go on searching. Why is this true? 7. For Discussion: What are some ways people are mistreated for being good (i.e. the good guy always finishes last)? 5 Shared / JYM 13-14/ Yr 1 Lessons / Hm Study Session

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