Friday, May 27, 2011

A Proper Introduction

This post has been linked to Amazing Catechists and RAnn's Sunday Snippets

 In Wednesday Sunday School the subject matter may jump around from minute to minute. The kids' nimble brains like to flit about anyway; it's important to go sideways (not just up and down) when developing a concept; and it pays to connect Catholicism to the wider world across time and culture. If we're already developing a concept, e.g., the Eucharist as miracle food, I'll just say "new topic" to start a new direction that will tie back to the Eucharist within the next few minutes. But if we're going to go in a new direction and develop it, the kids should have a more thorough introduction than just hearing "new topic." They should see the new topic is connected to things they already know, not just an isolated idea floating out there in Catholic Space. I want them engaged in the new topic before they even know what it is, like so:

"Somebody tell me please, what's a fable? It's a story. Are fables true stories? No they're made up. Yes. Are all made-up stories fables? No, some are just stories. Yes. What's the difference between a fable and a story? Fables have animals. Well, yeah, usually....who can tell me the Tortoise & the Hare fable? Me! Go ahead, tell it. They had a race and the hare ran fast and then took a nap, but the tortoise won the race before the hare woke up. Yes, the slow animal won the race, why? Because he didn't quit when he was losing. Right. What's the point? The tortoise didn't give up, but the hare was lazy. I mean, what's the point for you? Don't give up? Yes. We say, "the moral of the story is 'slow but steady wins the race'." Most fables end like that: "the moral of the story is thus and so"...why is that? Because fables are about being good or bad. Yes. Jesus told fables too; we call them parables. The words 'parable' and 'fable' are cousins, they mean "to tell a tale"; and they teach moral lessons. Como se llama to speak in Spanish? Hablar! Yes. Hablar is related to fable and parable, too.

Y'all remember last class we discussed one of my favorite parts of the Mass, when the priest says "Blessed are those who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb." Tell me please, who is the Lamb? Jesus. Yes, and who is Jesus marrying? The Church? Yes, and is the Church male or female? What? Well, is Jesus the Lamb going to marry a man or a woman? Umm...a woman? Yes, that's why we refer to the Church as "she" or a "bride adorned for her husband." D'ya think I love my wife? Yes. And how about Jesus? What about him? Does he love his wife? Jesus didn't get married. Uh, I think the Lamb does get married, but not to an earthly bride....oh, the Church. Yes. Does He love the Church? Yes! Enough to die for her, as it turns out.

Speaking of wedding feasts, let's look at a parable Jesus told, which is called the Parable of the Wedding Feast. Matthew's Gospel says, "And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying, "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a marriage feast for his son..."

And off we go.

(I wouldn't have the Queen's job for all the tea in China)