Sunday, March 5, 2023

3rd Sunday Lent Cycle A

3rd Sunday Lent 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.


             Say:  This the 3rd Sunday in Lent.  We have only a few more Sundays to prepare for the greatest feast in our church year.  Do you remember what it is?  <Easter>

Ask:  Does anyone remember the symbol for last week?  <a tent>  What did it symbolize?  <how we need to place our trust in God>

Introduce symbol
Say:   Today’s symbol <hold up the symbol> is water.  Tell me what you know about water.  What do we use it for? <drinking, bathing, cleaning>  Can we live without water?  <no>  Water often symbolizes life, something we can’t live without, something that makes us clean and new.
Ask:  Can you think of a sacrament when we use water?  <Baptism>  And why do we use water in Baptism?  <to symbolize washing away the old life and starting a new one>

Say:  Let’s look at today’s poster.  What does it say? <If today you hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts.>  This is our Responsorial Psalm for today.  The Responsorial Psalms also come from Scripture, from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament.  Psalms were originally songs, so make sure that you pray the response clearly and loudly.

Ask:  What does it meant ‘harden not your hearts’?  <get angry, decide not tolisten, say ‘no’ to God>  Do you think we do that?  <discuss>

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 Exodus. (Exo 17:3-7) We are going to hear about Moses leading his people to the promised land.  Remember that they have been in the desert for a long while and are very thirsty.  They have not been able to find water.  They are very angry with Moses because they are afraid that they will die.  Let’s listen to what happened.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  Did you hear what happened?  <Moses struck a rock with a stick and water came out of it>  Water made the difference between living and dying for these people.  God made a life-giving substance, water, spring from a dead object, the rock.  But only because of one very special action on Moses’ part.  What did Moses do that was so unusual?  <let the children guessà  Moses did exactly what God told him to do… Even though it didn’t make any sense to Moses at all.  Moses did not harden his heart.  Moses had faith.

Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
If today you hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts.

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of the Apostle John.  (John 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42).  In the Gospel today, we hear about when Jesus was travelling through Samaria.  What do you remember abut the people who lived in Samaria?  <they were enemies of most Jews>  Jesus was hot and tired.  He sat down by the town well and asked a Samaritan woman to get him a drink of water.  Let’s listen to the reading and see if \we can hear what happened.

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:  Did the woman get him a drink of water?  Why was the woman surprised that Jesus asked her for help?  <because Jews did not like or trust Samaritans>  Then what happened?  What did Jesus mean when he said that he would give her the water of eternal life?  <discuss>

Hand out the poster cut-outs for the children to write their names on them for the poster.

Hand out the symbols to color. (The symbol is water).  Ask the older children to write one thing they can do this week to keep their hearts open to hear God’s word.
Explain: Color this symbol of water and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about being open to God’s will.

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 light-blue poster symbols
Use this graphic to make the banner symbol and the black-line coloring page Offertory symbol

Parent Letter

Third Sunday Lent A

Dear Parents,

             Today is the Third Sunday in Lent.  The children listened to two of the same readings you did: Exodus 17:3-7; John 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42.

Symbol: water

To reinforce at home:
Today’s readings both used the symbol of water as a sign of renewal and rebirth.  In the reading from Exodus, Moses listened to God, believed in him, and struck a rock to bring forth water to save all the people.  And in John today, a Samaritan woman, a natural enemy of Jesus, listened to him and gave him the water he asked for.  She, in turn, also listened and received the message of love that Jesus brought to all of us.
Both readings tell of the wonderful things that happen when we listen to God and, as the responsorial psalm reminded us, “harden not our hearts”.

Activities to do at home:

*Choose a quiet prayer time together each day to recount your blessings and ask for God’s guidance with problems.

*Use water to remember to talk to and listen to God.  As you try to drink those recommended 8 glasses of water daily, take a minute to thanks God for the life-giving water he gives us.  Many people in the world today do not have clean water to drink.

*Buy an extra food item this week to donate to your local food pantry.

Thank you for sharing your children!

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