Sunday, March 17, 2019

March 24, 2019 3rd Sunday Lent Cycle C



3rd  Sunday in Lent   Cycle C

Welcome children to their worship space.

 

Explain: Today is the Third Sunday of Lent.  Does anyone remember anything about Lent? (40 days of preparing for Easter, etc.)  What do we do in Lent?  (we make small sacrifices, we might fast, we think about ways to be closer to God)
Ask:  Have any of you discovered any ways that you can get closer to God?  <prayer, kind acts, save money for the rice bowl, etc>

Introduce symbol
Say:  Today’s symbol <hold up the symbol> is a bush.  Both of our readings have something to do with live plants.

Say:  Let’s look at the poster.  What does it say? < The Lord is kind and merciful>  This is our Responsorial Psalm for today.  The Responsorial Psalms also come from Scripture, from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament.

We heard this same psalm just a few weeks ago.  Does anyone remember what it means? <discuss>  The Lord, our God, gives us lots of chances to be good and lots of chances to mess up.  He loves us and forgives us any time that we are really sorry.

Introduce readings

Say:  Let’s light the candle to show that we are ready to listen to the Words of God.

Say: Today’s first reading is from the Old Testament book of Exodus. (Ex 3:1 –8a,13 - 15)  Do you remember a few weeks ago when we learned about being called to do God’s work? <we read about the call of Isaiah>  Who else does God call?   <us>
Explain: We are all called by our Baptism to do the work of God. Today’s reading from the book of Exodus describes the call of Moses in an event that really got Moses’ attention.  Listen closely and see if you can find out what happened?
  
Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  So what happened?  <God spoke to him from a burning bush>  What did God ask Moses to do?  <lead the Israelites out of Egypt>  How do you think Moses felt?  <discuss>  Do you think Moses felt like he was the man for the job or do you think he might have been frightened?  <discuss>  Sometimes doing what God wants us to do feels scary, but God is always with us to make it work.  Have you had a time in your life when doing the right thing has been a little scary?

Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
The Lord is kind and merciful.

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Luke.  (Lk 13:6-9)   Today’s Gospel reading is a kind of story that Jesus told to give a message.  Do you remember what the stories Jesus told were called?  <parables>   These parables were stories that the people listening to Jesus could understand.  He often used ideas that were common on those days but not so common now.  Today’s parable is about a fig tree.  Does anyone know what a fig is?  <a fruit>  You can think of it kind of like an apple.  So the story is about a man who had some fig trees and he is upset about this particular one that isn’t growing right.  Let’s listen to see if we can understand what Jesus is telling us.

Say:  Now we will get ready to hear the Gospel
(hold up card)  Glory and praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.

Have the reader begin: “a reading from the holy gospel.....”

Read:  Read the Gospel

Ask:  What do you think Jesus is trying to tell us?  Should we just give up on people?  Or should we try to teach and guide and help them?  What does God do for us?

Ask children to add their names to the cutouts (leaves) provided.  Remind the children that we are making a poster for each Sunday and that they will sign a cutout and glue it on when they are here.

Hand out the symbols to color. (The symbol is a bush).
 
Explain: Color this symbol of the bush and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about trusting God.

If there is time, ask questions and go over the lessons one more time to help the children remember.

Give out stickers and hand-outs as they leave.






Parent Letter
3rd Sunday Lent  C


              Today is the 3rd Sunday of Lent.  Your children have heard a simplified version of two of the same reading you heard: Exodus 3:1-8a, 13-15 and Luke 13:6-9

To Reinforce at Home:
Our symbol is a bush.  God used a burning bush to give Moses a message in the Old Testament reading from Exodus.  God often uses the ordinary, everyday events in our lives to communicate with us.  It is our job to listen to God and hear his message of love and faith.
In the reading from Luke, Jesus used a plant, a fig tree, to teach us about caring for others. 

Activities to do at Home:
* Help your child to take care of a plant.  Share with them the way to trim off dead leaves so that the plant will grow better.  Talk with them how this is like loving people and helping them become closer to Jesus.

* Perform a random act of kindness this week.  Help your child think of someone they do not particularly like that they could do something nice for.

*Spend a day paying close attention looking for God’s messages to you.  Look for other people’s kindnesses, consequences that your actions merit, special things that bring God’s loving attention to you.  Help your child understand that God talks to all of his children.
 

Thank you for sharing your children!




Sunday, March 10, 2019

March 17, 2019 2nd Sunday Lent Cycle C



2nd  Sunday in Lent   Cycle C

Welcome children to their worship space.

Explain: Today is the Second Sunday of Lent.  Does anyone remember anything about Lent? (40 days of preparing for Easter, etc.)  What do we do in Lent?  (we make small sacrifices, we might fast, we think about ways to be closer to God)
Ask:  Did you notice any other changes in the church today?  <much less singing, Father is wearing purple vestments or stole>  Did you hear any “Alleluias”?  <no> Our celebration of the Mass is much quieter and simpler to help us focus on getting closer to God.

Introduce symbol
Say:  Today’s symbol <hold up the symbol> is a cloud with rays of sun behind it.  The cloud represents our lives now.  The bright beautiful rays of sun represent our life with God.  Right now, here on earth, we can only imagine how wonderful it will be.  We can’t even understand how much love and happiness there is in heaven while we have the cloud in front of us.
Say:  Let’s look at the poster.  What does it say? <Happy are all who long for the coming of the Lord >  This is our Responsorial Psalm for today.  The Responsorial Psalms also come from Scripture, from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament.
What does the word “LONG” mean in this statement?  <the children will probably define long – as a measure of length>  To long for something means to want it really badly.  Kind of like we might long for a birthday to get here.

Introduce readings

Say:  Let’s light the candle to show that we are ready to listen to the Words of God.

Say: Today’s first reading is from the New Testament, the letter of Paul to the Philippians. (Phil 3:20 –4:1)   Paul wrote many letters to the people of the early church.  The Apostles had no email, no videos, no television, and no telephones.  All they had were letters.  He was a church leader so he often wrote to the small church communities that he and the other Apostles had established.  In this letter He tells us that one day our bodies will become glorious like Jesus’ body did after the Resurrection.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
Happy are all who long for the coming of the Lord.

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Luke.  (Lk 9:28-36)  Soon after Jesus began his public ministry, he chose to reveal himself as the Son of God to a few of his trusted followers, Peter, James and John.  (By the way, this is the same James that our church is dedicated to).  They all went up on the mountain with Jesus and then Jesus prayed.  And then something really spectacular happened.                             Pretend that you are one of these three Apostles, find out what happened and try to think how they must have felt. 

Say:  Now we will get ready to hear the Gospel
(hold up card)  Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Have the reader begin: “a reading from the holy gospel.....”

Read:  Read the Gospel

Ask:  What happened?  <discuss>  Moses and Elijah were holy men that the Apostles had studied for all of their lives.  The stories about Moses and Elijah were part of the sacred Scriptures of the Apostles, just as they are for us.  Imagine how shocked Peter, James and John were when Moses and Elijah appeared with Jesus, and when Jesus was so bright.  What did this tell the Apostles about Jesus?  <that he was more important than Moses and Elijah>  And then to hear God from the sky say that Jesus was his son?  Wow!  How do you think the Apostles felt? 

Ask children to add their names to the cutouts (suns & clouds) provided.  Remind the children that we are making a poster for each Sunday and that they will sign a cutout and glue it on when they are here.

Hand out the symbols to color. (The symbol is a cloud with rays of sun).
 
Explain: Color this symbol of the cloud and sun rays and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned that Jesus is God.

If there is time, ask questions and go over the lessons one more time to help the children remember.

Give out stickers and hand-outs as they leave.

Use this cloud OR the circle below (sun) as the small symbols for the participation poster


Use this symbol for the banner (shiny gold foil works well for the sun rays!) and for the full-size coloring sheet used for the Offertory gift)


Parent Letter

2nd Sunday Lent  C

Today is the Second Sunday in Lent.  The children listened to simplified versions of two of the same readings you heard: Philippians 3:20-4:1 and Luke 9:28-36.

           
To reinforce at home:
Today’s symbol is a cloud with rays of sunlight breaking out from behind it.  It represents the glorified bodies that we will all have someday when we are in heaven.  St. Paul tells us that we will all have heavenly bodies one day when we are joined with Jesus. It is hard for us to imagine perfect bodies with no pain, no hurts, that are perfect in every way.  Think about what Luke tells us about the time that Jesus went up on the mountain with Peter, James and John.  They were allowed to see Jesus in all his glory long before they really understood that he is God.  Imagine how they must have felt when they saw that Jesus was God.  What would you think if it were YOUR friend who shared that with you?

Activities to do at home:

*Read to your child!  Share a child’s version of the Transfiguration reading.  Talk about what it must have been like to be one of the Apostles who witnessed it.

*Dream together.  Together with your child, brainstorm a list of what heaven must be like.  If heaven is better than the best thing we can imagine, what must it be like?

*Spend the next nice afternoon together watching clouds.  Look together for the sunshine that shines out from behind them.



Thank you for sharing your children!