Use the following summaries and questions to help explain this month’s Gospels to your kids.
May 3 | Fourth Sunday of Easter
John 10:1-10: We’re all aware of the image of Jesus the Good Shepherd, an image familiar in Jesus’ time because many people were shepherds who cared diligently for their sheep. In today’s Gospel, Jesus calls himself the “gate,” through which the sheep come to safety.
- What kind of shepherd did Jesus promise he will be?
- What is abundant life (life in its fullness)? Is your life abundant? What makes it this way?
- Sheep follow the shepherd. How do you show that you follow Jesus?
- How does it feel to hear Jesus call you by name?
- Sheep recognize the shepherd’s voice. How/where do you hear Jesus’ voice in your everyday lives?
- When are you called to be a shepherd?
- Jesus called himself a gate (a way that sheep enter safely). How is Jesus a gate to life, to good things, for you? How can you be a gate to God for others?
May 10 | Fifth Sunday of Easter
John 14:1-12: This Gospel passage occurs during the Last Supper as Jesus tells his apostles he is going to prepare a place for them. They do not understand because they do not yet know that Jesus is the way. Jesus tries to explain that he and the Father are one.
- For you, what does it mean to “follow the way”? How could you do it this week?
- Jesus says whoever sees him has seen God the Father. Who is a sign of God for you? Are you a sign of God for others?
- If your family could take only one small suitcase for your journey through life, what would you pack?
- What do you do when you are afraid? When you have a hard decision to make?
- When have you been in a safe, sacred space?
- Jesus says we can do what he did. How will you make your world a better place this week?
May 17 | Sixth Sunday of Easter
John 14:15-21: During the Last Supper, Jesus reminds his apostles of the most important things. Recalling the intensity of our call to love, Jesus promises that he will ask the Father to send the Holy Spirit to help them (and us), for he knew that it would not always be easy.
- Jesus asked us to love. What other “commands” flow from that?
- Where and when do you feel the Spirit with you?
- What acts of love make the presence of Jesus alive for you in your family, your parish, your neighborhood?
- What do you think the Spirit wants you to do this week?
- Write a family prayer thanking the Spirit for his constant presence with you.
May 24 | Seventh Sunday of Easter
John 17:1-11a: Today’s Gospel passage illustrates for us how much Jesus loves his friends. In this prayer, from the Last Supper, Jesus prays that his friends will experience the same unity with God that he has.
- What is your favorite way to pray?
- When and where do you like to pray?
- What kinds of prayers do you pray when you’re happy? What about when you’re worried or sad?
- How do you pray for your friends (as Jesus did in this passage)?
- How do you pray as a family? What new way(s) might you try?
or The Ascension of the Lord
Matthew 28:16-20: In this closing scene from Matthew’s Gospel, the disciples still have doubts, but as soon as they see Jesus, they recognize him. His message to them is to baptize and teach, inviting all nations to become disciples.
- How can we reach out to others, to people “of all nations”?
- How is Jesus still with us?
- How can we make Jesus alive on earth?
May 31 | Pentecost Sunday
John 20:19-23: In John’s Gospel the disciples are hiding behind locked doors because of fear of their enemies. When Jesus comes, they are calmed. He gives them the power to give peace to others by forgiving their sins.
- The Holy Spirit is like the wind. Wind changes things. What needs changing — in you, in your family, in the world?
- Write a family prayer to the Holy Spirit asking for the courage to make changes.
- What do you think Jesus is sending you to do at this time in your life?
- Pentecost has been called the birthday of the Church. How do you think we should celebrate it?
- When have you felt God’s spirit calling you to make a difference in someone else’s life, bringing God’s love to them?
- How would you describe a Pentecost person? How can you be one?