Sunday, January 15, 2023

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A

3rd 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.

             Explain: Today is the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Ask:  Does anyone remember the symbol for last week?  <hold up the symbol of the shell with a flame>
Ask: What did it symbolize?  <specifically, Baptism, but also how we are filled with the energy and knowledge to do God’s work on earth>.
Introduce symbol
Say:  Today’s symbol <hold up the symbol> is a fish in honor of the first people Jesus actually invited to help him spread the good news.  Do you remember who they were?  <Fishermen—specifically Peter & Andrew, then James & John> 
Say:  Let’s look at the poster we will make to day.  What does it say? <The Lord is my light and my salvation.> This is our Responsorial Psalm for today.  Psalms were originally songs, so make sure you pray the response clearly and loudly.  You can sing it if you like.
Ask:  Why would the Lord be a light?  What does that mean? <like a flashlight shining the way through darkness, like the comfort of a nightlight, or the happiness of birthday candles on a cake, the Lord represents all good and comfort and happiness in our lives>

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 9:2-4)  Isaiah tells us again about light!  Listen to Isaiah and see what he says about light.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  Can you tell me a word picture that Isaiah gave us about light? <“those who walked in the dark have seen a bright light.  And it shines upon everyone who lives in the land of darkest shadows”>  This tells us that God shows us the way to the greatest happiness.  Serving God brings peace and joy into our lives.

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

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of St. Matthew.  (Matt 4:17-23).  In the Gospel today, we hear about when Jesus called his first followers to help him spread the news.  Pretend you are a fisherman.  You are working on the beach one day and this man comes along.  Listen to St. Matthew’s story and try to imagine how you would feel.

Say:  Now we will stand and get ready to hear the Gospel
  Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Have the reader begin: “a reading from the holy gospel.....”

Read:  Read the Gospel

Ask:  What do you think?  How do you think you would feel? <discuss>  Do you think that you would have left your fish and nets <which to us means money!> and go off with this stranger?  Isn’t it amazing that they did?

Say:  This is true faith—to give everything up just to do what God asks us to do!  It is a real challenge to actually practice this in your everyday life.  It is even hard to find the times each day when Jesus calls you to action.

Hand out the poster cut-outs and Offertory symbols.

Ask the children to add their names to the cutouts (fish) so that they can be glued onto the poster.
Explain: Color this symbol of the fish and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned that Jesus calls each of us every day.

If there is time, ask the older children to write one thing that they can do this week to recognize and answer Jesus’ call to them.

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.

Parent Letter

3rd Sunday Ordinary Time A

Dear Parents,

           Today we celebrate the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time.  The children listened to two of the same readings you did: Isaiah 9:2-4; Matthew 4:17-23.

Symbol: fish

To reinforce at home:
Jesus calls each of us to be a light in the darkness.  Imagine how it was with Peter and Andrew, James and John, to leave their work (and money!) and families to follow Jesus.  Jesus doesn’t usually call us to make such drastic life changes, but he does consistently call us to action.  Comfort and complacency were never virtues he promoted.  We spoke today about recognizing the many small ways that Jesus calls us to action every day.

Activities to do at home:
*Talk with your child about ways to hear the call of Jesus in your everyday life.

*Choose a project you can work on together that shares Jesus’ love with others.

*Model your faith!  Share with your child one way that YOU answer God’s call to help others.

Thank you for sharing your children!

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