What does Jesus want from His children during Lent? The answer is actually the same for any season of the year: our love! Jesus delights in us and any means that we take to draw closer to Him is welcomed and blessed. This includes ways that we love Him as God as well as loving Him in our neighbor.
Some beautiful Lenten practices in our classrooms are helping the children, and their teachers, draw closer to Jesus this Lent.
First graders in Mrs. Nealon’s and Mrs. Kanost’s classes are excited to write positive notes to one another. Each child has a special box on their desk to receive the notes. They have a checklist with everyone’s name on it. Each week, they make sure that they have written a note to every other child in the class. But, they have to wait until Friday to read them! They are learning the virtue of patience as well as how to find the good in one another and build each other up.
Third graders in Mrs. Svoboda’s class are doing a practice called, “For You, Jesus.” They have a classroom jar with special practices in it. Each day, they pull out a strip of paper and offer together that sacrifice, prayer or kind deed. Purple strips = sacrifices (fasting), white strips = prayers and gray strips = kind deeds (almsgiving). This is helping them to support one another as well as helping them to be accountable for their practices.
Preschoolers are filling in a bean jar. Whenever Mrs. Moser or Mrs. Schnabel hear kind words or see unselfish or generous acts they put a brown bean into the jar. At Easter the brown beans will “resurrect” and become jelly beans for the students to enjoy!
Students in 4th, 5th and 6th grade are choosing to kneel when they pray in the classroom throughout their day. In addition, some classrooms have chosen practices like silent lunch one day a week, not complaining about homework, praying Stations of the Cross as a class, praying a Divine Mercy Chaplet and making a visit to Jesus in church after recess.
Kindergartners are sacrificing, thinking of others first and being kind, thus building a crown of thorns for Jesus. By showing their love for Him they are reflecting on how He carried the cross for us and wore His crown of thorns out of love.
Students in 4th and 8th grades are also taking time each week to reflect on Bible passages, journal and discuss Lenten topics.
It’s beautiful to see the many creative ways teachers and students are using this time of Lent to grow in faith and love. I pray you and your families are finding this Lent fruitful as well! God bless you!