Sunday, November 12, 2023

33rd Sunday Ordinary Time A

Children’s Liturgy Instructions
            Thirty-third 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.

            Say:  Today is the Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time. 

Ask: Last week’s symbol was an oil lamp.  We talked about being ready to be with God.  Does anyone remember how to be ready?  <always be good and do what God wants us to do>.

Introduce symbol
            Say:  Can anyone tell me what this is?  <hold up the symbol>  It looks a little like a coin – but it has the word TALENT on it.  In biblical times, there was a coin, money, that was called a TALENT.  We have another meaning for the word “talent”.  Can anyone tell me what the word means today?  <a skill, something you know how to do well>

            Say:  Today we are going to talk about what to do with the gifts God gave you.  Can anyone name some of the gifts God gave you?  <let the children respond>  What are you supposed to do with those gifts?  <use them, develop them – make them better>  God doesn’t give us gifts so that we can hide them or keep them to ourselves.  God wants us to share them so that we can do good things!  God’s light shines through us when we use our gifts, our talents.

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

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 first letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians in the New Testament (1 Thessalonians 5:1-6).  When St. Paul wrote his letters to the people in the early church, he often wrote about the end of the world.  There is a lot in Scripture about the end of the world.  Does anyone know exactly what will happen at the end of the world? <NO!!!>  We know that Jesus will come back and we know that we will be judged on our behavior.

Ask:  Do you always understand everything you read in Scripture?  <no>  We need to pray and think about it.  What God asks us to do is think about him, to act the way that Jesus showed us how.  Many people talk about the end of the world from ideas they get reading Scripture – that doesn’t always mean that they know exactly.  None of us knows exactly how things are going to happen.  Let’s listen to St. Paul’s letter and try to understand what it means to our lives today.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  What does St. Paul say about the end of the world?  <it will come quickly, like a thief in the night>  He says that we will be surprised.  So what does that mean to us?  <let the children respond>

Say:  It means we need to live our best life!  All the time!  It means to keep God in your heart.  God doesn’t want us to live our lives worrying about things.  God just wants us to love and obey him.

Say:  Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part will be to say:
            The Lord is my light and my salvation.

Say: Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Matthew (Matthew 25:14-15, 19-21)  Today Jesus had another parable about what the kingdom of heaven is like.  He tells us about a man who has several servants.  Can anyone tell me what a servant is?  <somebody who does some work for you>  This man decided to take a trip and he called three servants together and put each of them in charge of something.  Listen to the parable and see what the servants do.

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          

Ask:  What happened?  <the servant doubled the man’s money>  Why is that good?  <because the servant showed he was trustworthy (by not losing the money) and he showed that he was really working for the man (by increasing his money).

Say:  What do you think that God has put you in charge of?  <your skills – things that you can do well with your mind and with your body>  What are some of the things that you can do well?  <draw, read, hug other people>  How can you use your talents to make the world a better place?  <let the children respond – some ideas are to draw a picture to cheer someone up, read a story to someone younger, run errands for an older person, etc.>

Hand out the poster cut-outs of circles so that the children can write their names on them for the poster.

Hand out the Offertory symbols to color.

Explain: Let’s color the talent symbols and bring them to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show what we have learned about using the gifts God gave us to make a better world.
Ask the older children to write something on their symbol that they can do this week to use their talents to make the world a better place.

If there is time, ask questions and go over the lessons one more time to help the children remember.

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 in a light color for the children to put their names on for the communal poster

Use this graphic in gold for the banner symbol and as the black & white full sheet coloring page Offertory gift

Parent Letter

Thirty-third Sunday of Ordinary Time  A

Dear Parents,

            The children listened today to two of the same readings you did: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 and Matthew 25:14-15, 19-21.

Symbol: Talent

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. 
In St. Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, he talks about being ready for the end of the world.  We remembered last week’s readings about being ready!  For us in our lives today, that means living the best life we can so that our hearts are ready to receive Jesus.  If we always have love in our hearts, it won’t matter when the final judgment occurs.
            In Matthew, we hear another parable describing the kingdom of heaven.  We hear about the faithful servant who increased his master’s money.  We compared the money left in the servant’s care to the talents and gifts that God gave each of us.  We talked about our responsibility to use those gifts to make the world a better place.

Activities to do at home:
            *Make a list!  What are the things your child likes to do?  Take those talents and find concrete things your child can do to help make the world a better place. An artist might like to draw a picture to send to someone who is sick, a talker might like to visit that person.  A child who likes to shop might like to help you find sale items of food and clothing to donate to those in need.  

            *Make up a prayer!  Make up a prayer to say each morning this week asking Jesus to stay in your heart all day and help you be close to him.

Thank you for sharing your children!

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