Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pitchers 10: Physical Access

This post is linked to RAnn's Sunday Snippets 
Trust me, he's sick or naked or hungry or something bad

Partial board from the Feb 15, 2012 class, which covered the Parable of the Wedding Feast (Matt 22), the Judgement of the Nations (Matt 25) and the Last Supper (Matt 26+). I was running out of space by the time we got to the Last Supper. For some bizarre reason, the cartoon on Matt 25 is labeled B, although it was drawn before the Last Supper cartoon which is tagged A.

One of the great things about teaching 6th-grade is that the majority of the kids know these stories already. So classtime is spent on adding depth rather than laying groundwork. Every year I'm pleasantly surprised by what the children have already learned from their parents and catechists.

Cartoon B illustrates that those who want to "do something beautiful for God," as M. Teresa would say, will do things for "the least of  [Jesus'] brethren," given that Jesus isn't a carpenter you can take to lunch anymore. Jesus at left welcomes all the sheep on the right who acted in faith to help that poor wretch in the middle. The middle person in need of love & charity mediates their Corporal (you know, acting body-to-body) Acts of Mercy to Jesus; and oddly enough, mediates Jesus back to them as well. I elaborate on this with a photo book and discussion of MT (whom most kids already know), and the scabby, sick, smelly & scrawny people she loved. Then I say a bit about how her example prompted me to bring Communion to the sick for years, and tell a personal story of how Jesus once flowed back & forth between me and a dying woman. The kids remember that Elisha dropped everything when Elijah called him; as did Peter, Andrew, James & John at Jesus' call. And they learn that MT did the same on a train in India when Jesus called her.

Jesus is big on action, not talk.

Cartoon A accompanied discussion as to why the Last Supper featured Bread & Wine instead of Bread & Lamb, like a normal Passover. The kids recall that Jesus is the Lamb of God per John da Baptis' and so they eat Him through the miracle bread; and the whole "this is my Body & Blood" business explains all that weird stuff Jesus said the day after the Loaves & Fishes miracle. Then the kids remember the priest-king Melchizedek's bread & wine. I draw Melchizedek toting bread and wine;  Abraham; and Moses (in his Ark). The kids figure out that if a priest makes an offering for you, and you pay him, that the priest outranks you in religious authority. Thus Melchizedek outranks Abraham, and by extension all his descendants such as Moses, who made the Passover covenant with God. So when Jesus says "This bread is my body/ this cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood," he is using Melchizedek's bread & wine. Later on, St. Paul explains to the Hebrews how this shows Jesus is a priest like Melchizedek, and thus his new covenant outranks Moses' old covenant.