33rd Sunday in 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-third Sunday of Ordinary Time, the last Sunday in Ordinary Time. Next Sunday is the Feast of Christ the King which is the very last Sunday of the Church year. After that, we begin a new liturgical year. The Church year begins with Advent, the season before Christmas.
Ask: Does anyone remember what we talked about last week? <show the symbol of a sun> We talked about heaven, the eternal life that God has promised his people.
Say: We all have the opportunity to go to heaven. All we have to do is continue believing in God and doing our best to follow the teachings of Jesus.
Say: Today’s symbol <hold up the symbol> is a stone with the sun’s rays behind it. What is a stone like? <it is strong, it is plain, it is not pretty>
Ask: The stone can be like your faith in God. We want our faith and trust to be strong enough to believe in his promises no matter what our life on earth seems like. And when it is strong, God promises us eternal life.
Say: Let’s look at the poster. What does it say? < The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.> 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 this mean? Justice means fairness. Is everything on earth fair? <no> Then how does God rule fairly? < we believe that God will make everything fair in heaven, that when bad things happen on earth, they will be fixed in heaven>
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 book of the prophet Malachi. (Mal 3:19-20) This reading tells about how the Lord will bring justice at the end of time. Let’s see what we can understand from the reading.
Have the reader read the first reading.
Ask: What is the Lord promising? <that he will make all things right in the end, that he will destroy all evil and that those who are trying to do his will, will be happy>
Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm. Your part is to say:
The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Say: Today’s Gospel reading is all about the end of the world, too. It comes from the book of Luke. (Lk 21:5-19). When Jesus would teach about the end of the world, people became nervous. They wanted to know when it was going to happen. Wouldn’t you want to know too? If you knew, you would be particularly nice to everyone so that you could be sure that you would go straight to heaven. Jesus tells us about a lot of things that will have to happen first. Listen closely and see if you can hear some of the things that will happen first.
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: Did you hear some of the things that will happen before the world will end? <wars, earthquakes, people starving, terrible diseases, people will be hurt for believing in God> These things have already all happened, haven’t they? <yes> And probably will continue to happen.
Say: Jesus says not to worry. He says to keep believing in him and keep living the best life you can. That’s what God asks of us.
Ask children to add their names to the cutouts (stone) 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 the stone with sun rays).
Explain: Color this symbol of the stone and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!) to show that we have learned about keeping your faith strong to be ready for heaven.
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.
Thirty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time C
The children listened today to two of the same readings you did: Malachi 3:19-20 and Luke 21:5-19.
Symbol: Stone with sun rays behind it
To reinforce at home:
Today is the last Sunday in Ordinary Time this year. Next week we celebrate the feast of Christ the King and the end of our liturgical year. The emphasis in the readings today continued the message of being a good person and keeping your faith strong in order to go to heaven. We learned about how Jesus will come at the end of the world. We also learned that our job is not to worry about when that will be, but to become the best persons we can.
Activities to do at home:
*Re-read the Gospel passage together to increase the understanding that we are not supposed to know when the end of the world will be.
*Choose one thing to do together this week that you would like for God to see you do before Jesus returns at the end of the world.
Thank you for sharing your children!