Sunday, October 8, 2023

28th Sunday Ordinary Time 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 Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time. 

Ask: Last week’s symbol was grapes.  We talked about the man who owned the vineyard and the people who took advantage of him.  They grew the grapes on his land but didn’t give him his fair share.  Sometimes we do this too.  When we take, we should give back too.  God gives us many gifts.  We need to repay God by being the best people we can be.

Introduce symbol
            Say:  Today’s symbol is a cake.  When do we have cakes?  <when there is a party>  Can anyone tell me what we do when we want to have a party?  <we are happy, we decorate, we ask people to come>  When you invite people to a party, how does it make you feel when they say YES?  <happy>  When they say NO how does it feel?  <sad>

            Say:  Heaven is like a party that God is preparing for us.  Today we are going to talk a little bit about heaven.

Say:  Let’s take a look at the poster.  What does it say?  <I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life.>  This is our Responsorial Psalm for today.  The Responsorial Psalms also come from Scripture, from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament.

            Ask:  How can you like in “the house of the Lord” all your life?  <discuss>  Most people think of the “house of the Lord” as heaven.  But when you believe in God and give your troubles to God, you have a peace and happiness in your heart.  That wonderful feeling can be called “the house of the Lord.”

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 prophet Isaiah (Isaiah 25:6-10a).  This reading tells us something that God will do for us.  Pretend that you are one of the people listening to Isaiah.  See if you can hear one thing that the Lord will do for us.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  What did you hear?  <the Lord will prepare a feast on the mountain, destroy the power of death, wipe away every tear, save the people, protect the mountain>  Here is the next question:  what does that mean for us? Is the Lord going to come down to earth and make a party like we are thinking of?  <probably not – thought with God all things are possible>

Say:  Heaven is also known as the “house of the Lord”.  We think of it as a place where we go after we die, a place where we are very close to God. But heaven is also a way to feel.  When you behave the way God asks you to, it’s like answering his invitation to a great life.  Inside your heart, you feel good because you know that you are doing good things.

Say:  Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part will be to say:
            I shall live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. 

Say: Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Matthew (Matt 22:1-10)  Matthew tells us about another parable Jesus used to teach about what God wants for us.  In biblical times, the Jewish people believed that God was available just for them.  They believed that if they followed all the rules of their church, they would go straight to heaven.  Some of them believed they would go to heaven simply because they were Jewish.  And they definitely believed that if you were NOT Jewish, that you could not go to heaven. 
            Today’s reading is a story about a man who wanted to give a great party.  Pretend that you are a Jewish child listening to Jesus tell this story.  What do you think this story would mean to you?

Say:  Now we will get ready to hear the Gospel
            Please stand up.
            Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Read:  Read:
            “a reading from the holy gospel.....”

All respond:  Glory to you, O Lord.

Read the Gospel          

Say:  So, the invited guests didn’t listen or come and the man went out and invited everyone off the streets to come to his party.  If you were Jewish (one of the people chosen by God) in biblical times, what do you think this story might mean?  <that just being invited is not enough, you have to accept the invitation, that God invites everyone – not just a few people> 

Ask:  God wants us all to come to his party.  We just have to listen to him and follow his laws of love.  A few weeks ago, we talked about how God is always near, we just have to talk to him.  God wants us to be close to him.  It’s our job to always remember that God is right there!

Hand out the symbols to color and cut out. (the symbol is a cake

Explain: Let’s color the cakes  (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show what we have learned about listening to God and coming to the celebration..
Ask the older children to write something on their symbol that they can do this week to say YES! To God’s invitation.

If there is time for discussion, try to ask questions and reinforce what has already been discussed.  This helps the children to remember what they learned.

While they are coloring, explain how we will go back into the church, up to the front with our gifts and rejoin our families.

Give out stickers, parent letters and hand-outs as they leave.

Use this graphic for the banner symbol and the large coloring page......   Use a small square for the communal poster

Parent Letter

Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time  A

Dear Parents,

            Today is the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time.  The children listened to simplified versions of two of the same readings you did: Isaiah 9:9-16 and Matthew 22:1-10.

Symbol: cake

To reinforce at home:

            Today we talked about God’s love.  We talked about different meanings of heaven.  We remembered that heaven is a place where we go to be with God after we die.  We also talked about heaven being a state of mind, a way to feel when we are very close to God.  This kind of heaven is something we can achieve on earth when we say YES and act the way God asks us to.

God wants us all to be happy in his love.  He invites us all to be with him.  It is our job to remember that God is always close to us offering us a better way to live.
Activities to do at home:

            *Define heaven!  In heaven, all things are perfect.  Make a fun list of all the things that will be in your heaven.  What can you change in your life to make it more like heaven.

            *Have a party!  Together with your child, plan a celebration for your family.  Make invitations for each family member that tell why you want them to come to the party.

            *Discuss it together!  Talk about how you would feel if someone refused to come to your party.  God feels the same way about us.  God wants us to be with him.

Thank you for sharing your children!

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