5. 2 Lent: a time for Growth

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5.2 Lent: A Time for Growth

This unit explores the season of Lent as a time of conversion and growth. It presents Jesus’ passion as an experience of suffering and rejection. It also looks at Jesus’ response to a person suffering rejection. Students are encouraged to reflect on their experiences of acceptance and rejection and explore how times of difficulty can be times of growth. Students will be challenged to reflect on the experience of God with us today in times of difficulty. Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving will be linked to Caritas material and raising awareness for Project Compassion. The Church’s celebration of the events of Holy Week will be presented and explored.

Values & Attitudes

Students will demonstrate that they are:

Knowledge & Understandings

Students will demonstrate that they can:


Students will demonstrate that they can:

L3.1 willing to accept their call to respond to God in their lives

identify challenges to respond to the presence of God

examine ways in which the liturgical life of the Church nourishes and challenges them to respond to the presence of God

S3.1 aware of their responsibility to live according to the values of Jesus

explain the consequences of living according to the values of Jesus

analyse their own actions according to the values of Jesus

Syllabus Outcomes
Liturgical Year/Self – Stage 3

Classroom Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • explain how Jesus responded to people who experienced difficulty and rejection

  • describe how they can grow, with the help of God’s Holy Spirit, during times of rejection and difficulty

  • identify how Jesus responded to rejection



Matthew 4:1-11 Jesus in the desert

Mark 1:40-45 Jesus heals a leper

Matthew 26:36 - 27:56 The passion and death of Jesus

Matthew 26:17-29 The Last Supper

John 13:1-20 Jesus washes the feet of his disciples

Mark 11:7-10 Jesus enters Jerusalem

John 19:38-42 The burial of Jesus

  • Jesus brings hope and healing

  • Jesus Christ is both human and divine

  • Jesus, the Son of God, in his humanness experienced life as we do

  • During Holy Week the Church remembers and celebrates the experiences and events of Jesus in his last days on earth

  • Jesus is present in all experiences of life

  • God’s Holy Spirit is with us and strengthens us in our journey of conversion

Spiritual Reflection for Teachers

The word ‘Lent’ comes from an early European word for ‘Spring’. You can imagine tiny bulbs pushing upward through frozen ground. All life, especially in its beginning, involves struggle.

There was a famous department store that had as its image a single oak tree on a hill. The accompanying motto read: "While I live I grow." If you stop being open to growth in spiritual and physical dimensions, you have really ceased to live. Remember the quirky question: "Is there life before death?"

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Excerpts from the Catechism of the Catholic Church are included below as information for teachers. They present the Church’s teachings contained in this unit.

472 This human soul that the Son of God assumed is endowed with a true human knowledge. As such, this knowledge could not in itself be unlimited: it was exercised in the historical conditions of his existence in space and time. This is why the Son of God could, when he became man, "increase in wisdom and in stature, and in favour with God and man", and would even have to inquire for himself about what one in the human condition can learn only from experience. This corresponded to the reality of his voluntary emptying of himself, taking "the form of a slave".

589 Jesus gave scandal above all when he identified his merciful conduct toward sinners with God's own attitude toward them. He went so far as to hint that by sharing the table of sinners he was admitting them to the messianic banquet. But it was most especially by forgiving sins that Jesus placed the religious authorities of Israel on the horns of a dilemma. Were they not entitled to demand in consternation, "Who can forgive sins but God alone?" By forgiving sins Jesus either is blaspheming as a man who made himself God's equal, or is speaking the truth and his person really does make present and reveal God's name.

1430 Jesus' call to conversion and penance, like that of the prophets before him, does not aim first at outward works, "sackcloth and ashes," fasting and mortification, but at the conversion of the heart, interior conversion. Without this, such penances remain sterile and false; however, interior conversion urges expression in visible signs, gestures and works of penance.

1818 The virtue of hope responds to the aspiration to happiness which God has placed in the heart of every man; it takes up the hopes that inspire men's activities and purifies them so as to order them to the Kingdom of heaven; it keeps man from discouragement; it sustains him during times of abandonment; it opens up his heart in expectation of eternal beatitude. Buoyed up by hope, he is preserved from selfishness and led to the happiness that flows from charity.

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