Grade 6 – Study Guide for Chapter 8 (pg. 96 – 103) God led Jacob, now named Israel into Egypt. All 12 of Israel’s sons were reunited. In Egypt the Israelites were saved from famine. God provided for his people through Joseph. The pharaoh told Joseph that his brothers and family could stay in Egypt, after traveling from Canaan. Jacob’s (Israel’s) family settled in Goshen in northern Egypt. Egypt, was divided into 2 kingdoms; the southern part was ruled by Egyptian kings, while in northern Egypt, people from other regions ruled. Jacob’s family prospered in Goshen, but the Egyptian king soon gained control of the north. The period of tremendous wealth and power in Egypt is called the New Kingdom which lasted hundreds of years. Joseph’s family grew and grew. As time passed, and Joseph’s generation died off and the pharaoh’s generation died off, the new pharaoh did look at the Israelites as honored guests. In fact Joseph’s family and his people frightened the Egyptian king. The growing number of Israelites soon became slaves of the new pharaoh. The pharaoh forced them to build monuments and building. The Israelites were no longer free, or free to worship their true God. Their lives became unbearable and they cried for God to rescue them from Egypt. In the Book of Exodus, we learn of God’s plan to get the Israelites back to Canaan. Exodus is a Greek that means departure. The Israelites are also called Hebrews. The Hebrews continued to grow in faith and numbers. This angered the pharaoh. He told the Hebrew women that he will kill all their newly born sons. They did not listen to him. The pharaoh commanded that all boys born to the Hebrews be thrown into the river. One Hebrew woman saved her son by placing him in a basket and sending him down river. The baby was found by the pharaoh’s daughter. She named him Moses and raised him as an Egyptian. The basket is a symbolism for being saved, as the ark saved Noah. We are saved in the church with the waters of Baptism. As an adult, one day Moses saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew slave. Because he killed the Egyptian, the pharaoh wanted Moses killed. Moses fled to Midian, where he married Zipporah and lived the life of a shepherd. Moses saw a burning bush while tending his flock. Although the bush was burning, it was not being destroyed. Moses answered God, when he heard his name being called. God told Moses that he wanted him to return to Egypt and lead the Hebrews out of slavery. God told Moses to tell the Hebrews that, “I AM sent me to you.” Yahweh, meaning “I AM” was a name that described God as ever-present to his people. Out of reverence, the Hebrews used the title Adonai, which means “my Lord.” God commanded Moses to assemble the elders of the Israelites and explain that The Lord of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Joseph appeared to him. Moses told the Israelites (Hebrews) that he will lead them out of the misery of Egypt and into the land of Canaan……a land flowing with milk and honey. Moses did as God Commanded. Moses met with his brother Aaron to convince the pharaoh to “Let my people go.” The pharaoh refused. The pharaoh also did not give the Israelite slaves the materials they needed to do their work. The Israelites grew angry with Moses. They blamed him for their hardship. The Israelites did not believe Moses when he told them what God will do for them. Knowing it would be difficult to convince the pharaoh to let the Israelites leave Egypt, God decided to “lay his hand on Egypt and my great acts of judgment.” These great acts of judgment that God spoke of were plagues. In Biblical times, disasters and catastrophe were considered plagues. A conflict between Moses and Aaron and the pharaoh. Moses showed the pharaoh a sign of God’s power, but the pharaoh disregarded this sign. The pharaoh’s magicians were able to duplicate the plagues God sent. In time they were not able to duplicate God’s powers. The Israelites saw the effects of the plagues God sent, and realized that God was protecting them. Their faith in God was strengthened. The pharaoh would negotiate with Moses and Aaron, but the pharaoh never completely gave in to let them go. Because the pharaoh did not heed God’s powers through the plagues, the Egyptians suffered. After 9 plagues, the pharaoh still would not give in to Moses’ demands. God told Moses to tell the Israelites to prepare for their escape. God told Moses to have the Hebrews kill a lamb and mark their doorframes of their houses with the blood of the lambs. This marking would be a sign that the people inside the house were Israelites, not Egyptians. The Hebrews were to remain inside and cook and eat the lamb with unleavened bread. Unleavened bread is made without yeast. This symbolizes the Israelite’s rush to escape. Staying inside would keep them safe. At midnight, God passed over all of Egypt, taking the lives of every firstborn Egyptian, including the son of the pharaoh. This 10th plague also caused the death of the first born animals. Only the Israelites and their animals were spared. This event was called the Passover, since God passed over, or spared, his people. Every year, Jews remember this special night, by celebrating a seder. The horrified pharaoh told Moses to take the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses led the Israelites toward the Red Sea. The Lord led the people with a cloud by day and a column of fire at night. As soon as Moses left with the Israelites, Moses changed his mind and sent his army to close in on the Israelites. God parted the Red Sea to let the Israelites escape over a dry path. As soon as the Egyptian army followed, God closed the waters over them, and they drowned. The biblical writers once again used water as a symbolism to save the people. Grade 6 – Study Guide for Chapter 7 (pg. 86 – 88) Ordinary time is the season of life and hope. The color green, which we use during this season, reminds us of the life and hope that come with Christ. Ordinary Time lasts 33 – 34 weeks. Ordinary Time is celebrated twice during the year. In the Jewish calendar, Saturday was, and still is the Sabbath. Today our church keeps Sunday as our holy day. In the celebration of the Eucharist, the Mass, we praise and thank God for his many gifts, listen to God’s word, remember Jesus’ life, death and Resurrection and celebrate Jesus’ gift of himself in the Eucharist, receive the body and blood of Christ in Holy Communion, and are sent out to share Jesus’ love. Trinity Sunday is the first Sunday after Pentecost. On this Sunday, we celebrate our belief in the Blessed Trinity: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Corpus Christi Sunday is celebrated on the Sunday after Trinity Sunday. The term “Body of Christ” comes from this term. Christ the King Sunday is the last Sunday in Ordinary Time. We rejoice that Christ is the King of the universe. He saves us from evil and brings us new life. Grade 6 – Study Guide for Chapter 5 & 6 The Liturgical Year (pg. 67 – 84) A patriarch is a father, or founder, of a clan, a group of related families. The four Old Testament patriarchs are Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. Matriarchs are important women in God’s family. The four Old Testament matriarchs are Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, and Leah. These men and women lived from approximately 1900 B.C. to about 1650 B. C. These people lived in tents and roamed unoccupied territory. Canaan was an area in western Palestine that included most of present-day Israel. Inhabitants of Canaan were called Canaanites. These patriarchs and matriarchs are our ancestors in faith. Faith is a gift from God that enables us to believe in him and accept all that he has revealed. They lived their lives trying to follow God’s commands and going where God led them. God told Abram to leave his kinsfolk and travel to Canaan, land God promised to Abram and his descendants. Abram and Sarai left Haran and headed to Canaan. This journey symbolizes the journey of faith that we make throughout our lives. Abram was 75 years old and his wife Sarai could not have children. Abram and Sarai were obedient to God, even though he tested them repeatedly. This testing by God strengthened and purified their faith, and God decided to make a covenant with Abram. Abram and his descendants agreed to serve and follow God, and in return God will send Abram and Sarai a son. To indicate they were starting a new life, God changed their names to Abraham and Sarah. Abraham and Sarah had a son named Isaac. Abraham was tested once again when God asked him to offer his son up as a holocaust. God spared Isaac when he saw how obedient Abraham was. Isaac inherited his father’s position as patriarch and married a woman named Rebekah. They had twin sons Esau, the elder, and Jacob the younger. By ancient law, Esau was to inherit the patriarch role from Isaac, but God wanted Jacob to become the next patriarch. Rebekah and Jacob tricked Isaac into giving his blessing to Jacob. Because he tricked his father, he fled to Haran because Esau wanted to kill his brother. Jacob was very determined and never gave up. God assured Jacob that he would inherit Canaan and that God would always protect him. Jacob married Rachel and had 12 sons. God renewed his covenant with Jacob and changed his name to Israel. Providence is God’s plan for and protection of all creation. Joseph, the last of the patriarchs only had contact with God through dreams. Jacob loved Joseph more than his other sons. Joseph’s brothers hated him so much, that they sold him as a slave to a passing caravan of merchants. The merchants sold Joseph to the pharaoh, the king of Egypt. The pharaoh imprisoned Joseph, but while in prison Joseph realized that he could interpret dreams. Joseph helped the pharaoh interpret his dreams and he was very pleased with Joseph. The pharaoh was so pleased with Joseph that he made him manager of his kingdom. Joseph predicted a great famine would hit Canaan. Jacob’s family left Canaan and headed to Egypt where they heard food was plentiful. When his brother arrived in Egypt, they bowed to Joseph, not recognizing him. Joseph’s dreams had come true. He now had authority over his family. Joseph was finally reconciled with his brothers. The family traveled to Egypt. God’s purpose had been fulfilled. God’s people found a temporary home in Egypt. The Liturgy is the official public prayer of the Church. Liturgy of the Hours, a prayer, parts of which the Church prays at various times during the day and night. The church year is known as the liturgical year. The season of Advent begins the Liturgical year. The liturgical year includes Advent, Christmas, Ordinary Time, Lent, The Triduum, Easter and Ordinary Time. Our Liturgical Year is constructed around the dates of the Easter Triduum, which depend each year on the spring equinox and the rising of the full moon. The spring equinox is the day the sun crosses the equator, making day and night of equal length everywhere. Easter Sunday follows the full moon after the spring equinox. Grade 6 – Study Guide for Chapter 3 & Chapter 4 God created humans before he created plants and animals. God created humans as the high point of creation. The story account says that God made man from clay from the ground, and blew his breath of life into the man’s nostrils. Our soul is the invisible reality that makes each of us human. Humans possess a physical body and an invisible spiritual soul. Our soul lives forever, even after our body dies and returns to dust. God created woman from the man’s rib. This symbolizes that females and males share the same human dignity and are equal. Man was to bring new life into the world and create the human family. Man and woman were to be responsible for the earth and all the living things in it. God allowed the human beings to name the animals. The ancient Israelites believed that people had authority over those who they named. So humans were called by God to be the caretakers of creation. A steward is a person who is given both the authority over what he or she cares for and the responsibility for seeing that it lives and grows. Stewardship involves authority and responsibility. Conservationists and environmentalists are modern day stewards, saving the planet and protecting creation. The Garden of Eden was a place of innocence, holiness, and justice for which God had created. Adam and Eve had everything they needed. They were God’s friend. They were forbidden to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and bad. The forbidden fruit symbolizes that friendship with God depends on complete trust in God and on following his will for us. When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, and disobeyed God, he sent them out of the garden. When the first humans disobeyed God, they turned away from him. They committed a sin. Sin is a thought, word, deed, or omission against God’s law. This sin of the first humans took away their original innocence, holiness, and justice. Their personal sin was the first sin and is called Original Sin. Original Sin weakened human nature and brought ignorance, suffering, and death into the world. Because of God’s mercy, he did not turn away from Adam and Eve. Instead he promised to show them his mercy. Original Sin weakened human nature but did not destroy it. This is why we inherit this sin even though we are not personally responsible. Humanity could not undo the effects of Original Sin. God promised to send a Savior to completely restore their friendship with God. The prophet Isaiah described this person as the Suffering Servant. This Suffering Servant described by Isaiah is God’s own Son. The New Testament contains four separate books about Jesus. These are the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The word gospel means “good news.” The Gospel is the Good News about God at work in Jesus Christ. In the Gospels we read about Jesus’ work to bring hope to the poor and suffering, freedom to the persecuted, and healing to those who are sick. In Genesis we learn that Adam and Eve had 2 sons. The older son Cain was a farmer and the younger brother, Abel was a shepherd. Cain and Abel both made offerings of their goods to the Lord. However, the Lord looked favorably on Abel’s offering, but not Cain’s. It was never explained why one offering was acceptable and the other wasn’t. We learn that we cannot always understand the ways of God and should not try to judge his ways. God told Cain to do the right thing and accept this situation, but instead Cain could not rise above his anger. He took his resentment out on his brother Abel. Cain killed Abel and murder, one of the worst effects of Original Sin came into existence. Cain realized because of his sin, he was being sent away and would lose God’s protection. Yet God came to Cain’s aid and showed him that he was still protected by God. Justice means representing the rights of others and giving them what is rightfully theirs. In the Book of Genesis, we find that God is displeased with humankind. They were not faithful stewards of the world that they were meant to be. God spoke to Noah, who had great faith in God. God told Noah that he would put an end to all mortals on earth. God commanded Noah to build an ark and fill it with 2 of every living thing, including his family. He would send a great flood and all life outside the ark would be lost. God made a covenant or agreement with Noah. God will never send another flood to destroy life on earth. Through Noah God made an everlasting covenant with the whole of humanity. God’s forgiveness and love, and humanity’s goodness, can overcome all evil. The ark is symbolic of the Church; just as the ark saved Noah, so through the Church we are saved. The flood is a symbol of the waters of Baptism. Through Baptism we are freed from Original Sin and all personal sins. We are brought to new life with the waters of Baptism, just as the great flood washed the world clean from sin and evil. The story of the Tower of Babel is the last story in the Book of Genesis. This story symbolizes humanity’s loss of unity and the development of different languages. The whole world spoke the same language and were therefore related. They could act as true stewards of the earth. But God’s plan for creation was to spread across the face of the earth. Humans feared this, since moving throughout the world meant facing dangers. To remain safe and together, they decided to build a huge tower and stay in one place. This was a way of resisting God’s plan. The tower looked like a ziggurat. A ziggurat is a series of smaller and smaller brick platforms, one on top of the other. In the story, the tower was a symbol of human’s resistance to God’s will. The people building the tower did not trust God and preferred to do things their way. God decided to stop them, so he confused their language. They could not understand each other and the unity of the human race was lost. Humanity began to lose its unity and break up into rival groups. God‘s plan to populate the earth was on again. Now people spoke different languages and had developed different ways of living and communicating. Throughout history, human’s failure to respect the differences of, and the need to appreciate the dignity that all people possess, has caused misunderstands between people.