Monday, February 6, 2012

7th Sunday Ordinary Time B

Welcome children to their worship space.

Ask them to get their carpet squares and sit down in a circle.

Introduce yourself and your helpers.


Ask:  Last week’s symbol was a person.  We talked about how God uses our whole body, everything that we are, to share love with others.
Say:  Today is the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time – just two weeks away from the next Church season. Can anyone tell me what that season is? <often children will answer with a traditional season – like Spring.  Remind them that it is indeed almost Spring (affirm their answer) but that we are talking about a different kind of season>  The church season that is coming up is called Lent.  We will talk a little more about Lent next week.

Introduce symbol
Say:   Today’s symbol is a heart with a cross on it.  We talked a few weeks ago about hearts – how they are used to represent love.  What does the cross represent?  <Jesus>  What do you think a heart with a cross might mean? <Having Jesus in our hearts is a special kind of love>
Say:  Jesus showed us a lot of ways to love others.  The one that we are going to talk and hear about today is called FORGIVENESS>  Can anyone tell me what FORGIVENESS means?  <discuss - to love someone enough to put aside ways that they have hurt you>

Say:  Let’s look at today’s poster.  What does it say? <Lord, heal my soul, for I have sinned against you.>  This is our Responsorial Psalm for today.  The Responsorial Psalms also come from Scripture, from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament.

Ask:  When we say that we have sinned against God, what does that mean?  <that we have broken one of God’s laws (the Commandments), that we haven’t shown love to others, that we have broken the trust that God has placed in us>  Sinning hurts God and it hurts us too. We hurt our hearts when we sin.  Can anyone tell me how God heals our hurt hearts?  <by forgiving us> What is the name of the Sacrament where our hearts are healed?  <Reconciliation>

Introduce readings
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 the prophet Isaiah. (Isaiah 43:22-25)  In this reading, God is talking to the people of Israel (and to us!).  He tells the people that he has been good to them and has not placed burdens on them.  Can anyone tell me what a burden is?  <hard work, or a heavy load to carry>  God says that the Israelite people have burdened him! Pretend that you are an Israelite child listening to this reading and see if you can hear how the Israelites have placed a burden on God. 

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  What is the burden that the Israelites placed on God?  <their sins>  The sins of the Israelites (like OUR sins) show that they did not listen to God or obey God.    But God is good.  What did God do?  <God forgave the sins just like God forgives our sins>

Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
Lord, heal my soul, for I have sinned against you.

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Mark.  (Mark 2:1-12).  St. Mark tells us about one of the miracles that Jesus performed.  There was a group of people crowding around Jesus in someone’s home.  A group of people wanted to bring their friend to Jesus to be healed.  The friend could not walk.  The group took drastic measures to make sure that Jesus could see their friend.  They cut a hole in the roof to lower the man to Jesus!
Jesus was impressed that they believed in him so much.  There were some other people there that were upset about the way Jesus responded to the lame man.  Listen to St. Mark’s story.  Afterward, we will talk about what Jesus did and why people were upset. 

Say:  Now we will stand and 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 did Jesus do and say to the man who couldn’t walk?  <he healed the lame man – and he told the man that his sins were forgiven>  Why were some people upset?  <they didn’t believe that Jesus was God – they felt that he was making fun of God>

Say:  The people saw Jesus heal the lame man.  But they couldn’t see sins.  Jesus told them that if God could heal legs, then he could forgive sins – heal hearts!  When we believe that God can forgive our sins and make us new again, he can!  Our hearts have to be ready and we have to have faith.

Hand out the poster cut-outs of a cross so that the children can write their names on them for the poster.

Hand out the symbols to color. (The symbol is a heart with a cross).  Ask the older children to write one thing they can do this week to show God’s forgiveness to someone else.
Explain: Color this symbol of a heart with a cross and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about God’s forgiveness.

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 small communal poster
Use this graphic for the banner symbol and the Offertory coloring sheet

Parent Letter
7th Sunday of Ordinary Time B
             Dear parents,
             Today your children heard simplified versions of two of the same readings that you heard: Isaiah 43:22-25 and Mark 2:1-12.
Symbol: heart with a cross

To reinforce at home:

Our focus today is forgiveness.  Isaiah tells us of the goodness of God.  We heard about how God chooses to forgive us even though we are sinners.

St. Mark tells us a story of one of Jesus’ miracles.  It is the story of the lame man whose friends wanted to get him to Jesus so much that the lowered him through a hole in the roof.  Because of their faith and trust, Jesus healed the man.  He did this by forgiving his sins.  He taught us that God has the power to heal our hearts by forgiving our sins too.

Activities to do at home:

*Together with your child, think up different ways that we show forgiveness to each other.  Examples are hugs, handshakes, the words “I forgive you”, special treats, etc.  Talk about what forgiveness means.

*Show forgiveness!  With your child, think of a time when you have hurt each other.

*Forgiveness from God means cleansing your soul and starting over!  Take the opportunity to experience the sacrament of Reconciliation this week.  If your child is old enough, go as a family.  If not, talk about this wonderful sacrament Jesus gives us.

Thank you for sharing your children!

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