2nd Sunday of Easter 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: Today is the 2nd Sunday of Easter. Last week, we had some changes in the way we celebrate Mass and in the decoration of the church. Did anyone notice what they were? <the music is back, lots of flowers, etc.> You will notice when we read the Gospel that the Alleluia is back too.
Explain: Does anyone remember what the symbol for the last Sunday was? <a shining sun> And what did it represent? <the light of Jesus, Jesus rising from the dead, Jesus conquering death>
Ask: Before I begin, I have a question for you: can anyone remember where our first reading usually comes from? <the Old Testament> The New Testament book called the Acts of the Apostles tells us about the early church. It tells us about the things that happened to the Apostles in the very beginning right after Jesus rose from the dead. During the Easter season – from now until the feast of Pentecost, we will be talking about how the new church began. We will see the kinds of problems that the Apostles faced, which happen to be many of the same problems we face today. We will learn what we need to build our church community right here at <say the name of your church>
Say: Today’s symbol is a hand.
Ask: What does a hand make you think of? <let the children answer> We use our hands to do things for each other and for ourselves. Our hands can hold on to each other – and they can prove things to us by using the sense of touch.
Explain: One of the most important things that we need to build a strong church community for God s each other. We need each other to live the way that Jesus taught us to live. Today we’ll hear a little and talk a little about how we can help each other be good folowwers of Jesus.
Say: Let’s look at today’s poster. What does it say? <Give thanks for the Lord is good. God’s love is everlasting.> This is our Responsorial Psalm for today, a psalm of praise.
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 first New Testament book of Acts. (Acts 2:42-47) In this reading, we learn how the apostles and other early followers of Jesus treated each other. If you think about Jesus’ message, how do you think his followers would treat each other? <let the children respond> Let’s pretend that we don’t know about Jesus. His followers are strangers to us. Let’s listen to this reading and see if the way the apostles lived is the way most people in the world live.
Have the reader read the first reading.
Ask: How did they live? <discuss> Do you think that everybody lives this way? <no> What is different? <they shared everything, they sold all their things and gave away the money, they spent a lot of time praying together> Do you think that it is possible for us to live the way they did? Why or why not?
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 the Apostle John. (John 20:19-29). Do you remember who the Gospel writers are? And how many? <4 – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John> During this season of Easter, we will hear mostly from St. John.
This reading tells us about two times when all of Jesus’ friends were gathered together in an upper room with the doors locked, probably the same one where they shared the Last Supper with Jesus. It was right after Jesus rose from the dead. The Apostles were frightened of the Romans and of their fellow Jews. Remember that their friend, Jesus, had just been tried and executed as a criminal. Can you imagine how you would feel if you were one of Jesus’ friends? <let the children respond a little> They were afraid that they would be arrested and killed too. They still believed in all that Jesus told them, but they didn’t know what to do. Pretend that you are one of the Apostles and listen closely to the Gospel to find out what happened on those nights.
Say: Now we will stand and 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 already know this story? Did you hear anything new? <let the children respond> On the first night, what happened? <Jesus appeared to the Apostles> How do you think the Apostles felt? <glad to see him, scared a little because they had watched him die, worried about what it all meant> What did Jesus tell them? <he said he was sending them out, just like the Father had sent him> Then what happened? <they told the other Apostles about seeing Jesus> Who was second night all about? <Thomas> Thomas didn’t believe, did he?
What did Thomas say to the Apostles? <that he would believe that Jesus had come back when he actually saw him and felt his wounds> When Jesus appeared the next time, what did he tell Thomas? <blessed are those who believe without seeing> Do you know anyone who believes in Jesus but has not seen him? <US> Thomas needed proof that Jesus had risen – and Jesus loved him anyway. Thomas received his proof with his hands. We can help each other to find the proof we need to have faith in Jesus.
Hand out the poster cut-outs of a hand so that the children can write their names on them for the poster.
Hand out the symbols to color. (The symbol is a hand).
Explain: Color this symbol of a hand and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!) to show that we have learned about being Jesus for each other.
Ask the older children to write down one thing that they can do this week to show how they can be Jesus to someone else.
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.
2nd Sunday of Easter A
Today is the 2nd Sunday in the season of Easter. The children listened to two of the same readings you did: Acts 2:42-47; John 20:19-29.
To reinforce at home:
Today we talked about the beginnings of the church after Jesus Christ died and rose from the dead. That will be our focus for the entire Easter season – until Pentecost. We talked about one of the key ingredients in building our church community: faith.
We need each other as described in Acts. We need to treat each other like family, spend time with each other and take care of each other’s needs.
We need faith in Jesus, faith that he is God who made the supreme sacrifice for us just because he loves us. Like Thomas, sometimes we need to see to believe, but how much more blessed we are when we can have faith without proof.
Activities to do at home:
*With all the pressures of life today, it is difficult even to treat our own families like family. Talk with your child about how you can spend more time together as a family. Turn off the television and play a game together.
*Read your church bulletin with your child and choose one activity to participate in with your parish.
*Call your church office and find one parishioner who needs your help. Consider making an anonymous donation for that person. Or perhaps you and your child can help someone in your parish who needs help with yardwork or running errands.
Thank you for sharing your children!