Sunday, January 29, 2023

5th Sunday Ordinary Time A

5th Sunday of Ordinary Time Cycle A

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 Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time. 

Ask:  Can anyone tell me what we talked about last week?  <hold up the symbol of the heart on fire> We talked about God’s love—what God values most and how he wants us to act.  We learned about the Beatitudes.

Introduce symbol
Say:  Today’s symbol <hold up the symbol> is a lamp under a bushel.  Scripture tells us that we are like the light.
Ask:  What do you think that means? <discuss—the light of God’s love shines in us>.  What do you think that we should do with that light?  <let the children respond>

Say:  Let’s look at today’s poster.   What does it say? <A light rises in the darkness for the upright.> This is our Responsorial Psalm for today.  Psalms were originally songs, so make sure you pray the response clearly and loudly.  You can sing it if you like.

Ask:  What does this psalm mean?  Who are the upright?  <the people who are trying to do God’s will>  Why do you think a light would shine for them?  <to show the way, to clear up confusion, to provide warmth and peace> 

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 Isaiah. (Isaiah 58:7-10)  In this reading, Isaiah explains how to shine your light for everyone to see.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  What is Isaiah saying?  <Isaiah tells us how to act—share food, give clothes, don’t turn away relatives>

Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
A light rises in the darkness for the upright.

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of St. Matthew.  (Matt 5:13-16).  St. Matthew uses this reading to tell us about how we are lights.  At the time when he lived, most Jewish houses were small, with one large common room that was used for everything.  They typically used one lamp to light the whole room.  Listen to what he says and try to understand what he is telling us about our lights.

Say:  Now we will stand and get ready to hear the Gospel
  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

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

Read:  Read the Gospel

Ask:  What happened?  <let the children retell what they heard>  What does he tell us to do?  <share our goodness because it will help others to love God>

Hand out the poster cut-outs and Offertory symbols.

Ask the children to add their names to the cutouts (flames) so that they can be glued onto the poster.
Explain: Color this symbol of a light under a basket and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show what we have learned about sharing the light of God (his love!) with others..

If there is time, ask the older children to write one thing that they can do this week to share God’s love with others.

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

5th Sunday Ordinary Time A

Dear Parents,

           Today we celebrate the 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time.  The children listened to two of the same readings you did: Isaiah 58:7-10 and Matthew 5:13-16.

Symbol: lamp under a basket

To reinforce at home:
The readings today talk about how each of us is given gifts from God and it is our responsibility to share those gifts with others.

Activities to do at home:
*Play with lights!  With your child, get some flashlights and either go outside or in a dark room.  Find the best place to put your light so that it illuminates the most space.  Try to help your child understand how their talents are like their flashlights and how they can use them to create the greatest good for others.

*Lent is coming!  As a family, think about the way you want to celebrate it at home.  Some ideas are: the traditional sacrifices (giving up candy, etc.), decorating with “desert-like” items (like a cactus table centerpiece), creating a family Rice Bowl to save money to donate to the Rice Bowl program at your church, setting aside an evening each week as a simple soup supper.

Thank you for sharing your children!

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