11th Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle B
Welcome the children to their worship space.
Ask them to get their carpet squares and sit down in a circle.
Introduce yourself and your helpers.
Introduce Ordinary Time
Ask: Does anyone know what season of the church this is?
Explain: When we started getting ready for Easter, it was the season called Lent. And then we celebrated Easter and began the Easter season. And then we had another couple of special Sundays. Does anyone remember the names of any of the last 3 special Sundays? <Feast of Pentecost, Feast of the Trinity and Feast of Christ’s Body and Blood>
Ask: Who was here for the Feast of Pentecost? Can you tell me why that Feast was important? <it is when the Holy Spirit came to the church, when the church began, the birthday of our church>
Who was here for the feast of the Trinity? Who remembers what the word Trinity means? <three-in-one>
And then we had the feast of Christ’s Body and Blood. And what sacrament did we celebrate then? <Eucharist>
Say: We are beginning another season today, the season of Ordinary Time. We aren’t preparing for any special feast right now. We are simply learning about God’s word and trying to figure out how it applies to our lives—ordinary time
Say: Today is the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time. The first Sundays of Ordinary Time this year happened before Lent. Our symbol today is a tree.
Ask: Who can tell me something about trees? <They can be very large, they are alive, they grow from seeds>
Explain: Trees grow from seeds. Today we are going to talk about a tiny seed [IF POSSIBLE, bring a mustard seed from your spice cabinet to show the children] Has anyone here seen a seed? What happens to seeds? <they grow into plants—let the children share some experiences they have had with seeds and what they grew into> It is God’s power that helps seeds grow into large plants or trees. We can help God with that work.
Say: Now we are going to practice the Responsorial Psalm, that part between the readings where you get to help. The Responsorial Psalm comes from the Bible just like our readings do. Today’s psalm is: Lord, it is good to give thanks to you. Can you say this with me? <Have the children repeat it.>
Ask: Can anyone tell me something that we can thank God for? <let the children respond…. good weather, breakfast, a chance to gather together, family… whatever is important in their lives>
Say: The first reading today is from the Old Testament book of the prophet Ezekiel. (Ez 17:22 –24). Ezekiel was a prophet who told the people at the time he lived (AND US!) about God. Let’s pretend that we are listening to the prophet Ezekiel and see if we can understand what he is telling us.
Say: Now we will have the first reading (light the candle)
Have the reader read the reading.
Ask: What did the reading from Ezekiel tell us about God? <that God is so powerful that he can make trees grow big and tall or break them down, that God has the power to do anything>
Say: Now is the time for the Responsorial Psalm that we practiced. <have a volunteer hold up the poster> Repeat after me: Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.
Have reader read the psalm
Say: Now it’s time to read the Gospel. Today’s Gospel reading comes from the New Testament book of St. Mark. (Mark 4: 30-34) Saint Mark is telling us about a time that Jesus was teaching people. Jesus had a special way of explaining things. He told stories to answer questions. Can anyone tell me what we call the stories that Jesus used to teach us? <parables> That’s right, PARABLES. Remember that word because you will hear it often when we talk about Jesus and teaching!
Say: Today’s story is about a little tiny seed. Let’s pretend that we are people listening to Jesus and see what he tells us about the seed. Make sure you listen to the very beginning of this reading to hear the first question that Jesus was answering.
Say: Now we will get ready to read the Gospel. Please stand and say: Alleluia, Alleluia.
Read the Gospel.
Ask: Does anyone remember the very first question in the beginning? It is what Jesus compared the seed to. <What is God’s kingdom like?> Jesus said that God’s kingdom was LIKE WHAT happens when the mustard seed is planted. What did happen? <it grew larger than any other plant> So God’s kingdom is like when you take something very small and it grows very big. Maybe it is like what happens when you do something nice for someone.. And then they do something nice… and then...what happens next? <everyone feels happy and loved!>
Ask: Does anyone remember the sign that we give one another to show that there is God’s peace between us?
Say: Let’s give each other the sign of peace.
Hand out the large Offertory symbols (trees) for the children to color and the smaller symbols (leaves) for the children to put their names on for the poster.
Explain: We will color the trees (don’t forget to put your name on the back!) to show that we have learned about God's power! If you have time and can write something on the back, think of ONE thing you can do to help grow God's kingdom!
While they are coloring, go over the procedure for entering the church at the Offertory, how they approach the altar and put their symbols in the basket that the lead child will place at the altar.
Remind the children that the large symbol is to be offered in the Offertory procession to show the congregation what they have learned about using our hands to bring Jesus’ love to others. Remind them to put their names on the back and that they can retrieve the symbols after Mass.
Collect the smaller symbols to glue to the communal poster. Remind the children to bring their parents back after Mass to see it.
Give out parent letters, coloring hand-outs and stickers as the children leave their worship space.
|Use this for the small symbol in a light brown or tan color (seed) for the communal poster|
|Use this graphic for the mid-sized banner symbol and the coloring sheets used for the Offertory gift|
11th Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle B
Today is the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Your children have heard a simplified version of two of the same readings you heard: Ezekiel 17:22-24 and Mark 4: 30-34.
To Reinforce at Home:
Today we learned about the prophet Ezekiel and what he had to say about God’s almighty power. We talked about Jesus and how he answered questions with stories called parables. Today’s parable was about a tiny little mustard seed.. And how, through God’s power, it grew into a mighty tree.
Both readings used plant growth to explain the mysterious power of God.
Activities to do at Home:
* Plant or sprout a seed! What better way to show the power of God’s creation than to watch something grow!
Use a quick sprouting, easy growing seed like a nasturtium OR place dried beans between 2 moist paper towels to germinate sprouts.
* Look in your kitchen spices and find a mustard seed. Talk with your child about how God’s love is like that tiny seed. That if we share it (love) with other people, it will grow bigger than we can imagine…. Just like the tiny mustard seed in Jesus’ parable grew into a huge tree!
* The Gospels are FULL of stories (parables) about plants and trees. Think of your favorite and share it with your child.
* Jesus spoke in parables using plants because he was teaching farmers. With your child, think up a parable for the modern day world we live in that would help explain God’s kingdom.
Thank you for sharing your children!