Sunday, July 23, 2023

17th Sunday Ordinary Time A

Children’s Liturgy Instructions
            Seventeenth 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 Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. 

Ask: Last week’s symbol was a scale.  We talked about judging others.  Can anyone tell me who is the final judge of others’ behavior?  <God>  Whose behavior should we ourselves judge?  <our own>

Introduce symbol
            Say:  Today’s symbol is treasure.  What is treasure?  <gold, silver, anything we really value>  Who wants treasure?  <we all do!>  What we are going to find out about today is treasure!

Say:  Let’s take a look at the poster.  What does it say?  <Lord, you are good and forgiving.>  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 Old Testament book of First Kings (1 Kings 3:5, 7-12).  Today’s reading is about a king named Solomon.  Has anyone ever heard of him?  What can you tell me about Solomon?  <let the children discuss>  Solomon was known as a very wise king.  He was very smart and very kind to people.  In this reading, we hear about a time when God offered Solomon anything that he wanted.  Listen closely and see if you can hear what Solomon asked for.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  Did you hear what Solomon asked for?  <wisdom>  Why would he want that instead of gold or silver?  <with wisdom, he would know what to do when he was confused>  If we are wise, we know how to serve God and get all the things that we need.

Say:  Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part will be to say:
            Lord, you are good and forgiving.

Say: Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Matthew (Matt 13:44-46)  What would you do if you found a treasure in someone else’s yard?  What might you do to make sure that the treasure would be yours?  <discuss>  This is what today’s reading is about.  Jesus is teaching something with a story.  Does anyone remember what the word is for a teaching story?  <PARABLE>  Let’s pretend that we are some of the people who are listening to Jesus.  Let’s see if we can figure out what the treasure is that he is talking about.

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 is the treasure that Jesus is talking about?  <heaven>  What should we do to gain the treasure of heaven? <anything that we have to do!>  Does this mean that we can make a one-time decision and know that we will get into heaven?  <discuss>

Say:  We have to wake up every day and bring Jesus into our lives.  We need to live our lives thinking about heaven.  All of our actions together, day in or day out, affect whether or not we gain salvation.

Hand out the poster cut-outs of a circle 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 treasure chests and bring them to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show what we have learned about living our lives here on earth so that we will live forever in heaven with Jesus..
Ask the older children to write something on their symbol that they can do this week to gain the treasure of heaven.

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 graphic to make the small symbols for the poster.  Cut them out in light colored yellow paper.

Use this graphic in a mid-size (with construction paper) for the banner.  Use it in black-line on a full-size sheet of paper to color and use as the Offertory symbol.

Parent Letter

17th Sunday of Ordinary Time  A

Dear Parents,

            Today is the 5th Sunday in the Easter season.  The children listened to two of the same readings you did: 1Kings 3:5, 7-12 and Matthew 13:44-46.

Symbol: treasure chest

To reinforce at home:
            In today’s selection from the first book of Kings, God gives King Solomon the opportunity to ask for anything he wanted.  Solomon didn’t choose gold or silver or even anything that we usually regard as treasure.  He chose Wisdom – because with wisdom, he would know how to rule people well.  He would be able to follow God’s law and live a good life.

            In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus asks us what we would do to get a treasure?  How far will we go to get what we want?  He wants us to work that hard to go to heaven!

Activities to do at home:

            *Together with your child, make alist of the treasures in your lives.  Include things like good health, food, friends, and other things (not money!) that make your life worthwhile.

            *Have a treasure hunt!  Hide something that your child really likes and have fun while he or she hunts for it. Talk about the obstacles encountered.

            *Think of one thing that you can do with your child to help make someone else’s life better.  Donate an item to the food pantry, send a note to a relative or visit a fellow parishioner.

Thank you for sharing your children!

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