31st Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle C
Welcome children to their worship space.
Ask them to get their carpet squares and sit down in a circle.
Introduce yourself and your helpers.
Explain: Today is the Thirty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time.
Ask: Does anyone remember what we talked about last week? <hold up the praying hands> We talked about the importance of being honest when we pray to God. We talked about how we make mistakes and that all of us are important to God.
Say: Today’s symbol <hold up the symbol> is a tree. Do you remember several weeks ago, we talked about a seed? <point to the seed symbol on the banner> What does a seed do? <it grows into a plant> Do all seeds grow into plants? <no> What do you have to do to help that to happen? <water it, plant it in dirt, make sure it gets sunlight> Right, you have to take care of it!
Explain: We ourselves, in our hearts, are just like seeds. If we pray, if we are kind to others, if we listen closely to what Jesus tells us, we will grow into the kind of people God wants us to be. Our faith will grow stronger. Our tree today symbolizes what we can become if we take care of our faith in God.
Say: Let’s look at the poster. What does it say? <I will praise your name forever, my king and my God > This is our Responsorial Psalm for today. The Responsorial Psalms also come from Scripture, from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament.
Ask: What does the word “praise” mean? ‘Praise” means to say wonderful things! We come together each Sunday at Mass to tell God how wonderful he is.
We have two readings today.
Say: Let’s light the candle to show that we are ready to listen to the Word of God.
Say: Today’s first reading is from the Old Testament book of Wisdom. (Wis 11:22- 12:1) Compared to God, we are tiny, tiny creatures. But he created us and he always loves us.
The Book of Wisdom uses some beautiful language to describe the world as it compares to God. Listen closely and see if you can hear it.
Have the reader read the first reading.
Ask: What did the author of Wisdom say when he compared the world to God? <that the world was a speck of dust too light to weigh on a scale, that it disappears like a drop of the morning dew> Compared to the power of God almighty, the earth is not very important even though it seems very large and important to us.
Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm. Your part is to say:
I will praise your name forever, my king and my God.
Say: Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Luke. (Lk 19:1-10). Luke tells us about a time that Jesus was teaching in a town. When Jesus taught, he had to get food from somewhere. He often had dinner with people he met. At that time, the Jews were very careful who they ate with. They only ate with people that they thought were good Jews. This story is about a man named Zaccheus. He was not a good Jew. He was a very rich man who made his money working for the Roman people. No one liked him. Pretend you are in the crowd of people that Jesus was teaching and see if you can learn what happened.
Say: Now we will stand to get ready to hear the Gospel
(hold up card) Alleluia! Alleluia!
Have the reader begin: “a reading from the holy gospel.....”
Read: Read the Gospel
Ask: So what happened? <discuss> Zaccheus did not claim to be an important man. He honored Jesus and did his best to become a better person. Zaccheus was a short man but because he listened and followed Jesus, his faith became tall like a tree.
Say: No matter who we are, we can be better people. Jesus wants us to know that none of us are perfect and that God loves us all.
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 and cut out. (The symbol is a tree).
Explain: Color this symbol of the tree and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!) to show that we have learned about being better people, the kind of people that God wants us to be.
Ask the older children to write one thing that they can do this week to become a better person.
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 graphic for the banner symbol and the Offertory gift|
Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time C
Today we celebrate the Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time. The children listened to simplified versions of two of the same readings you did: Wisdom 11:22-12:1 and Luke 19:1-10.
To reinforce at home:
Today’s readings remind us that God loves all of us. We each have the opportunity to create lives that are pleasing to him. Zaccheus turned his life around because Jesus believed in him.
Activities to do at home:
*Together with your child, talk about gifts God has given you that show how much faith he has in you to use them properly.
*Think of others! What can you and your child do for others that will make you a better Christian.
Thank you for sharing your children!