2nd Sunday in Easter Cycle C
Welcome children to their worship space.
Ask: Did you notice anything different in the church today?
Explain: The season of Easter began last week. During Lent, there was little singing, we had time for thinking about Jesus and what he was about to go through, and, in general, everything about the church was serious and sad.
Ask: So, what changed? <Christ’s resurrection> What’s going on now? <we are happy – the singing and bright colors are back> In the Easter season, we are waiting for something else also. Does anyone know what that is? <the feast of Pentecost>
Explain: After Christ rose from the dead, his friends were sad and confused. They didn’t really understand what they were supposed to do. Jesus had asked them to continue his work. Do you know exactly what that meant? <let the children offer their ideas> These are all great ideas – you each have different thoughts about it. Can you see that the Apostles probably each had different thoughts too? It must have been difficult for them to figure out together what was supposed to happen next. Each week we will learn some of the same things that the Apostles began to figure out after Jesus’ resurrection.
Ask: What do you think a church really is? Is it only a building? Did Jesus’ friends have a building that was their church? <discuss>
Explain: Our church is US! It is a group of people who believe the same things about Jesus. Another word for church is FAITH COMMUNITY
Say: Today’s symbol <hold up the symbol> is a hand.
Ask: What can you do with a hand? <love somebody, help somebody, pick up things, work> Can you do wrong things with your hands? <yes> We make choices about what we do.
Explain: Jesus uses hands to do his good work. Whose hands does he use? <ours> So we have to listen and think about what we do. We have to make choices about whether we are helping to build our community or not.
Say: Let’s look at the poster. What does it say? <Give thanks, for the Lord is good; God’s love is everlasting.> This is our Responsorial Psalm for today. The Responsorial Psalms also come from Scripture, from the Book of Psalms in the old Testament..
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 Acts of the Apostles. (Acts 5:12-16) The Book of Acts is all about the time after Christ rose from the dead – but before the feast of Pentecost. It tells about the things that happened and the way the Apostles felt.
Have the reader read the first reading.
Ask: What did you learn here? <give the children a chance to respond (appropriate answers will be anything that actually shows that they listened) – more and more people began to believe, lots of people listened to the apostles teach but were afraid to join them, the apostles worked miracles, etc.> Who worked the miracles when Jesus was alive? <Jesus>
Say: This reading makes it clear that the Apostles were allowing Jesus to use them to do his work here on earth. The new church was beginning.
Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm. Your part is to say:
Give thanks, for the Lord is good; God’s love is everlasting.
Say: Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of John. (Jn 20:19-29) In this reading from John, we hear about the night after Jesus’ tomb was discovered empty. It is a story about one of the Apostles, who didn’t believe that Jesus actually rose from the dead. Jesus’ friends gathered together in a locked room. They were frightened and confused. Remember that their great teacher had just been put to death as a criminal. Probably the police were out looking for them, too. Let’s pretend that we are Jesus’ friends together in that locked room and listen to what John has to tell us.
Say: Let’s 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: What happened? <discuss> Did you hear anything about hands in this reading? <let someone retell the part about Thomas touching Jesus’ wounds> Thomas used his hands to help him learn the truth. Learning is one of the things we can do with our hands.
Do you know what sense your hand represents? <touch> What are the other senses? <sight, hearing, smell, taste> We use our senses to tell us much about this world – and we allow Jesus to use our bodies <and our senses> to further his message of love.
When Jesus said: “Blessed are those who believe without seeing”, who do you think he was talking about? <us!>
Ask: What do we do each week with our hands, at Mass, that shows peace and forgiveness? <the sign of peace>
Say: Let’s offer each other a sign of Christ’s peace. <allow a few minutes for the sign of peace>
Ask children to add their names to the cutouts (hands) provided.
Hand out the symbols to color (The symbol is a hand).
Explain: Color this symbol of the hand and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!) to show that we have learned about how important we are in our church.
Second Sunday of Easter C
Today is the Second Sunday of Easter. The children listened to the same readings you did: Acts 5:12-16 and John 20: 19-29
To reinforce at home:
The readings from Easter through Pentecost reflect both the joy of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and the intense confusion and sorrow of his followers. The Apostles were left with a great task, that of continuing Christ’s work and furthering his message. They were also, in their humanness, dealing with things they really didn’t understand. The Acts of the Apostles, which we read during this time period, reflects their attempts to decide how to move forward and deal with their own fears and feelings of inadequacy. We can all relate to them through our own human feelings.
Today’s Gospel is the lovely one about Thomas, who needed proof of our Lord’s appearance. Remind your child that Jesus blessed all those who believe without seeing – and that would be all of us!
Activities to do at home:
*Using examples from within your family, talk to your child about how the apostles had to go about creating a structure and method to keep Jesus’ message alive.
*The apostle Thomas had doubts about the reality of the resurrection of Jesus, his friend and mentor. Share with your child a time when you believed in something without seeing it. (this can either be an abstract idea or a concrete one -–after all, we can’t see the wind, or sound waves, but we know that they exist because we see what they can do.)
Thank you for sharing your children!