Sunday, August 15, 2021

21st Sunday Ordinary Time B

Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time   Cycle B

Welcome children to their worship space.

Ask them to get their carpet squares and sit down in a circle.

Introduce yourself and your helpers.

Ask children to add their names to the cutouts (flower/seeds) provided.  Remind the children that we are making a poster for each Sunday and that they will sign a cutout and glue it on when they are here.


Explain: Today is the Twenty-first Sunday of Ordinary Time.
Ask:  Does anyone remember what our symbol was for last Sunday? (host and chalice)  And what did it symbolize? (that we take Jesus into our bodies each week through the Eucharist)

Introduce symbol
Say: Today’s symbol is a seed & flower. 

Ask: If you plant a seed in the ground, what has to happen in order for it to grow into a plant or flower?  What does the plant need?  <water, sunlight, room to grow> 
Explain:  When we plant the seeds, we see to it that our plant has these things.  And we believe that if we give our seed these things, then it will grow.  We have FAITH.
Explain:  Jesus had been telling a lot of people about a new way of thinking.  The things He had to say about eternal life and eating His Body sounded really strange to the people who were listening.  It didn’t seem to make much sense.  Many people left Him.
Ask:  Why do you think some people stayed?  < the children will have several answers - lead them to...”they believed in Him”>  Do you think that all the people who stayed understood Jesus’ message?  <No>  But they stayed anyway and kept on trying. 
Explain:  God gives us the gift of FAITH so that we can believe in Jesus.  We have to take the seeds of information that Jesus gave us and take care of them so that they can grow.

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: Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.  Can you say this with me?  <Have the children repeat it.>

Introduce readings

Say:  The first reading is from the book of Joshua in the Old Testament, or Hebrew Scriptures. (Joshua 24:1-2, 15-17, 18)  Joshua is another one of the early prophets.  Do you remember any of the other prophets we have heard about in the last few weeks?  <Elijah, Moses>  Today we read about Joshua telling the people of Israel that they need to choose which god to worship.  In those days, most people did not believe in the one true God that we believe in - they believed in many other gods.  Joshua told them that they would have to choose.

Ask:  Do you remember one of the Commandments that tells about children and parents?  <#4 - Honor thy father and thy mother>.  Who can tell me something about the Commandments?  <there were 10 of them, God gave them to Moses on the mountain, they are listed in the Old Testament>

Say:  Now we will have the first reading (light the candle)

Have the first reading

Say:  Next we will have the Responsorial Psalm
Your part will be to say:
Taste and see the goodness of the Lord. (hold up card with psalm)

Have reader read the psalm

Say:  The Gospel reading was written by John.  (John 6:60-69)  This is the story when many people left Jesus because they did not understand what He was talking about.  Jesus spoke very strongly about what people needed to do to follow Him and it was too hard for many people.  Sometimes it is hard for us to understand too.  Pretend you are on the mountain listening to Jesus hearing everything He was saying about bread and eternal life.  Maybe you are hungry and wish He would just give you a little more bread like He did the other day.  Think how hard it must have been for His Apostles to stay with Him when they did not understand.

Say:  Now we will get ready to hear the Gospel
(hold up card)  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

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

All respond:  Lord, let your Word be in my mind <make cross on forehead>, on my lips <make cross on lips>, and in my heart <make cross on heart>

Read:  Read the Gospel

Hand out the symbols to color and cut out. (The symbol is a seed and flower) 
Explain: Color this symbol of the seed and flower and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about FAITH and how we have to take care of our FAITH.
Ask:  What are some ways you can take care of your FAITH?  <go to church, read the Bible, pray, go to Communion>  If you can, write one way you can help your FAITH grow this week.

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.

Count out the parent letters and hand-outs to go home.

Give out stickers and hand-outs as they leave.

Use this graphic in small pastel colors for the communal poster

Use this graphic to make the banner symbol in colored paper - and the Offertory symbol in black & white

Parent Letter

Twenty-First Sunday of Ordinary Time
             Today is the Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time.  Today your children heard a simplified version of the same readings that you heard: Joshua 24:1-2, 15-17, 18 and John 6:60-69.
To reinforce at home:
Since Ordinary Time began, we have focused on two things, the Eucharist and faith.  Jesus spoke very strongly to the crowds about the bread of eternal life and that He is the way to heaven.  The people listening to Him had a hard time, as we often do today, understanding what it was that Jesus actually meant.  They needed the gift of faith that God gives us freely in order to continue to follow Jesus.  They needed to take care of their faith and make it grow strong.
We used the analogy of a seed growing into a flower to explain what was needed to help your faith grow.  Certain practices like reading the Bible, praying, going to church and going to Communion help our faith grow strong.

Activities to do at home:
*Talk with your child about things you do to help your faith grow stronger. 

           *Read some Bible stories together that emphasize the kind of faith that people have in God - like David and Goliath, or Daniel and the Lions, or about some of Jesus’ miracles that could not have occurred without somebody’s faith - like the miracle of the water & wine (faith of Jesus’ mother) or the raising of Jairus’ daughter to life (Jairus’ faith).
           *Plant a seed and talk together about the things you will need to do to help it grow.  Remind your child that the seed is a responsibility - like his or her faith is a responsibility - to take care of and help grow.

Thank you for sharing your children!

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