Sunday, July 9, 2023

15th 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 Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. 

Ask: Last week’s symbol was a dove.  We talked about how wonderful the peace is that we experience when we do what God wants us to do.

Introduce symbol
Say:  Today’s symbol is a seed.  What do you know about seeds?  <they grow into plants>

Ask:  Can anyone tell me what a seed needs in order to grow?  <light, air, water, soil>  Do all seeds grow?  <no>  Why not?  <they don’t all get what they need.

Say:  Let’s take a look at the poster.  What does it say?  <The seed that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest.>  This is our Responsorial Psalm for today.  The Responsorial Psalms also come from Scripture, from the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament.
Ask:  What might “good ground” be?  <soft, moist, full of nutrients>  What do you think “bad ground” might be like?  <discuss>

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 (Isa 55:10-11).  In the selection from Isaiah, we hear about rain and snow falling to the earth.  Do rain and snow have anything to do with the seeds we are talking about today?  <they provide the necessary water to help the seeds germinate>  Does anyone know what a comparison is, what it means to compare things?  <to see how two things are alike>  Listen closely to what Isaiah says and see if you can hear what he compares the rain and snow to.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  Isaiah compared rain and snow to something completely different.  Did anyone hear what it was>  <his words>  How are Isaiah’s words to the people he spoke with like rain and snow to the seeds?  <rain and snow fall to the earth and help the seeds grow.  People listen to Isaiah’s words and grow in knowledge of God>

Say:  Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part will be to say:
The seeds that falls on good ground will yield a fruitful harvest.

Say: Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Matthew (Matt 13:1-9)  Today we hear Matthew telling us about one of the PARABLES that Jesus told.  Can anyone tell me what a PARABLE is?  <a teaching story>  Jesus taught many things using PARABLES.  Today’s PARABLE is about a farmer.  I’ll bet you can guess what the farmer was doing!  <planting seeds>  He was planting using a method called SOWING.  (Swing your arm in a wide circle like the farmer would scatter seed.)  The seeds fell in different places and grew in differing ways.  Keep in mind Isaiah’s comparison about the rain and the snow and listen to this PARABLE.

Say:  Now we will get ready to hear the Gospel
Please stand up.
Alleluia!  Alleluia!

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

All respond:  Glory to you, O Lord.

Read the Gospel

Say:  When the farmer scattered the seed, where did it fall and what happened?  <along road – eaten by birds, rocky ground, sprouted but didn’t have strong roots, thornbushes – grew but got choked out, good soil – produced a lot of food>  Did anyone hear what the seed was compared to?  <to what Jesus said, Jesus’ words>

Say:  Jesus used the same comparison as Isaiah did.  If Jesus was talking about his words falling in the places where the seeds fell, what might that mean?  <along the road – people who don’t listen at all, rocky ground – people who hear but can’t (or won’t) apply it, thornbushes – those whose lives are so crowded (by necessity or by choice) that they can’t apply Jesus’ message, and those who listen and take the message to heart and grow>  We all have to choose what kind of soil we want to be and work hard to be there.

Hand out the poster cut-outs of a seed 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 seeds and bring them to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show what we have learned about listening hard to what Jesus teaches us and acting it out in our lives.
Ask the older children to write something on their symbol that they can do this week to be good soil.  Write down ONE behavior that they can change this week to apply Jesus’ message.

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.

This graphic of a SEED is used for all three symbols.  Cut out small ones in a tan color for the children to write their names on for the communal poster.  Make a banner symbol in a medium size out of brown construction paper.  Use it as a full page size for the children to color as their Offertory gifts.

Parent Letter

15th Sunday of Ordinary Time  A

Dear Parents,

             Today is the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time.  The children listened to two of the same readings you did: Isaiah 55:10-11 and Matthew 13:1-9.

Symbol: seed

To reinforce at home:
The readings today tell us how we grow through reading Scripture and applying it to our lives.  Isaiah makes a comparison between rain and snow and his teachings to the people.  In Matthew’s account of Jesus’ parable, we hear Jesus comparing a farmer’s seed to his own word.  He compares us to differing types of soil.  We need to choose what type of soil we want to be and let Jesus’ word grow in our hearts.

New words / concepts:  PARABLE, comparisons

Activities to do at home:

*Plant a seed!  Find a quick sprouting seed, like nasturtium and plant it in your yard.  Help your child take care of it.  *Nasturtiums grow quickly and produce lots of flowers!  They are also edible in salads!
*Pray about it!  Together with your child, think of one thing you can pray about this week to help you grow in Jesus’ love and do it!

* Serve others!  It is hard to grow in God’s love if you are hungry.  Buy an extra item at the grocery store this week to donate to the food pantry at your church.

Thank you for sharing your children!

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