This Sunday’s Gospel is the story of the prodigal son, the forgiving father, and the angry brother. The SPIRIT story is about a high school girl finding out she is pregnant. Bad decisions, struggles, and redeeming moments are part of both stories. The page-4 feature in this week’s SPIRIT shows how our consciences work and how we can continue developing them.
Use the whole issue as a springboard for family conversation.
This week’s SPIRIT Xtra lesson is “Feel Again” by OneRepublic
What do you think about second chances? Who gets them? Who deserves to be thrown out for good? Jesus’ parable in this Sunday’s gospel implies God, the gardener, is always looking for new growth, even when the tree seems dead. The story is about that almost-inevitable teen experience—an automobile accident. The doctrinal feature asks how we face and accept the consequences of our decisions.
This week’s SPIRIT Xtra lesson is “Second Chance” by Tristan Prettyman
The Transfiguration is a turning point for Jesus. He envisions the cost of his choice to serve God and the suffering ahead of him in Jerusalem. SPIRIT challenges teens to consider how they handle pain and grief and suggests other, perhaps better, ways to try.
Consider your own approach to grief and loss and how you teach your children by your responses. Try the Faith in Action meditation alone or with your family or a friend.
This week’s SPIRIT Xtra lesson is “I Will Wait” by Mumford and Sons
The SPIRIT lessons for Lent evaluate principles for making moral choices and explore conscience, consequences, and sin. This week a girl struggles with body image and an eating disorder. A friend struggles to help her, but not alienate her. Sound familiar?
The page 4 feature this week begins a series on making practical moral judgments. Read the page yourself. Maybe your teen is ready to talk about it with you.
This week’s SPIRIT Xtra lesson is “Good Girl” by Carrie Underwood
African Americans are the oldest Catholics in the United States. They helped found St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest city in the U.S., and were among the first settlers of California. SPIRIT tells the story of Father Augustine Tolton, the first full-blooded black priest in the U.S.
The core of our faith is the Incarnation—Jesus, truly human, truly God. Read the SPIRIT feature on Jesus and talk with your children about it. The belief in God who is one of us gives us the courage to live as he did.
This week’s SPIRIT Xtra lesson is “Make the World Move” by Christina Aguilera featuring Cee Lo Green
“Love is patient. Love is kind. Love does not put on airs.” St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, Sunday’s second reading, could be describing Father Greg Boyle. The story of how he serves youth at risk in Los Angeles is this week’s SPIRIT story.
SPIRIT continues exploring our ideas of Jesus and where they come from in its page-4 feature, “Jesus, Compassion of God.”
Pray 1st Corinthians 13.4-13 as a meal prayer or prayer for healing.
This week’s SPIRIT Xtra lesson is “Titanium” by David Guetta feat. Sia
This Sunday’s Gospel is Jesus’ inaugural address. “The Spirit is upon me,” Jesus says. “God has sent me to proclaim good news to the poor, liberty to captives, sight to the blind.” Your child may be experiencing the urgings of the Spirit, too. Talk together about immigration, the topic of this week’s SPIRIT lesson. Perhaps there are ways you can work together to extend justice and mercy.
We begin reading from Luke’s Gospel this Sunday and exploring his portrait of Jesus. How has your understanding of Jesus changed over the years?
In the flow of John’s gospel, the wedding feast at Cana takes place just after Jesus calls his first disciples (1.35-51) and just before he cleanses the temple. The disciples represent the new community Jesus is gathering. The water that becomes wine in the story symbolizes the water and wine of the sacraments of baptism and eucharist that transform us into Christians. Through these sacraments Jesus continues to pour out his Spirit upon us in baptism and confirmation and his lifeblood for us in Eucharist.
In this issue SPIRIT explains the many kinds of intimacy, and their relationship to successful, lifelong love.
“Where do I fit in the Body of Christ?” is this week’s SPIRIT theme. There is no easy answer to that question for teens and often not for their parents. Talk with your son or daughter about Victor Mendoza’s baptism story. Why was baptism important to him as a high school student? What would you do if you were not yet baptized and read Victor’s story? What is precious to you about your faith?
If you family prays together at meals or other times, use the excerpt from Corinthians on page 4 of SPIRIT. Tell each other what gift for the common good each member of your family possesses.
This week’s SPIRIT Xtra song is “Hall of Fame” by The Script
It’s okay that Christmas is about presents. Everyone wants to make a loved one happy. But how much Under Armour clothing or Nike Elite socks can you buy with just $100.00? Ask your teen to tell you the SPIRIT story about the Hundred Dollar Christmas, or read the story for yourself. Talk together about what Christmas present(s) each of your family remembers and why. They probably were not important because of monetary value.
The prayer for this week’s SPIRIT lesson involved making an Advent word cloud. Get your teen to teach you how to use wordle.net and make your own family Advent cloud.
This week’s SPIRIT Xtra lesson is “Lights” by Ellie Goulding.