Last night, after the 5 PM Mass, I took part in an intergenerational catechesis program at St. Mary’s, Colts Neck. About two hundred came, full house, and I hear more wanted to get in but it was sold out.
About the spaghetti supper, which all enjoyed, the kids went with their teachers, and the adults came with me to the auditorium where I gave a presentation on the Parable of the Sower that Jesus used to teach people about God and the mysteries of life. The kids had the same parable presented to them by their teachers.
God is a passionate sower of seed, Jesus pointed out, and he used the beautiful land and sea of Galilee to illustrate God’s blessings. I used a short dvd on Gallilee watch?v=fW0YAszmLes&feature=youtu.be– still a beautiful land– to help see how Jesus might have taught this parable. Besides what it teaches about God, the parable also has lessons for life, for example, the patience of God, the patience we need as life unfolds, the evil that can inhibit the seed’s growth, the lack of acceptance to the good seed.
Jesus’ own life among us was like a seed the grew and died and rose again.
The questions we asked the adults to discuss were:
- So, what blessings do you find in your life? Don’t forget, they may look small.
- Waiting for the seed to be sown and for it to grow demands a lot of patience. Where do you see patience running out, around you and in yourself?
The kids showed us an imaginative banner they created and their reflection on the parable.
A parish has five approaches for learning today: 1) the parish or intergenerational approach 2) the peer or age-specific approach 3) the home/family approach 4) the individual approach 5) the wider community approach. Parishes usually prefer an age-specific approach to faith formation. (School, religious ed for children, lectures, retreats for adults, etc…) Whatever approach you use you shouldn’t neglect the others.