Sunday, August 6, 2023

19th Sunday Ordinary Time A

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

Ask: Last week’s symbol was a loaf and fish.  We talked about how God will always take care of those who follow God’s laws.

Introduce symbol
            Say:  Today’s symbol is water.  Last week we talked about God taking care of us.  We talked about following Jesus’ example of putting others’ needs before our own.

            Say:  Today we are going to talk about a very important idea, believing that God will take care of us.  It is one thing to say that God will take care of our needs.  It is a whole other idea to actually believe that it will happen.

Say:  Let’s take a look at the poster.  What does it say?  <Lord, show us your mercy and love, and grant us your salvation.>  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 first book of Kings in the Old Testament (1 Kings 19:9a, 11-13a).  Today we are going to hear about the prophet Elijah.  Elijah was a good man who tried hard to listen to God and do what God told him to do.  This is a story about a time when Elijah was living in a cave.  God told him to go outside because he was going to pass that way.  Elijah wondered what he would see or hear when God passed by.

Ask:  Would you recognize God if he passed by your house?  What do you think you would see or hear?  <let the children respond>  Let’s listen to Elijah’s story and see what he discovered.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  How did he recognize God?  Was God in the mighty wind?  <no>  Was God in the earthquake?  <no>  Where was God when Elijah recognized him?  <in the stillness>  Do you think, if Elijah wasn’t sure that God was coming, that he would have recognized the moment of God’s arrival?

Say:  Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part will be to say:
            Lord, show us your mercy and love, and grant us your salvation.

Say: Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Matthew (Matt 14:22-33)  Do you remember from last week how tired and sad Jesus was?  When he ministered to all the people and shared the food, what did he really want himself?  <to be alone>  In today’s reading, we hear what happened next.  At the end of the day, Jesus sent his disciples into a boat headed for home.  Jesus stayed behind to get some time alone.  The boat sailed all night and towards morning, the disciples saw Jesus coming toward them walking on the water.  Wow!  Pretend that you are one of the disciples in the boat and listen to what happens next.

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:  Why do you think the disciples were afraid when they saw Jesus walking on the water?  <because they knew that no one can walk on water – maybe they thought they were seeing a ghost>  Peter recognized Jesus.  What happened next? <Peter walked on water>  Peter was the leader and tried to determine if what they saw was really Jesus.  Why do you think that Peter was able to walk on water?  <Because he believed that Jesus would take care of him>  Why do you think that Peter sank?  <because he started thinking that he couldn’t walk on water>

Say:  Peter started thinking that what he was doing was impossible. While he simply believed, he could walk on water.  When he started thinking about it, he stopped believing in the power of Jesus.  Sometime the things that we must do to follow Jesus are much harder than what we think we can do.  We must truly believe that God will take care of us.  Then we have the strength and the ability to do whatever God wants us to do.

Hand out the poster cut-outs of water 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 water symbols and bring them to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show what we have learned about believing that God will take care of us when we do what is right.
Ask the older children to write something on their symbol that they can do this week that is hard but that they know is right.

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.

This graphic is for the small poster symbol.  Use a light color and cut one out for each child.

Use this graphic to create the mid-sized banner symbol.  Blue construction paper covered with plastic wrap makes an impressive symbol.

Use this graphic full-size on a page so that the children can color it to bring to the Offertory.

Parent Letter

19th Sunday of Ordinary Time  A

Dear Parents,

            Today is the 19th Sunday of Ordinary Time.  The children listened to two of the same readings you did: 1 Kings 19:9a, 11-13a and Matthew 14:22-33.

Symbol: water

To reinforce at home:
            The readings today remind us that we need to pay attention to recognize God in our lives.  Elijah expected God to appear in the great wind and then looked for him in the mighty earthquake – yet God used the quiet stillness to come forward.  Elijah needed to believe strongly that God was coming and that he needed to pay attention to recognize God.
            In the Gospel account today, we can imagine the tired disciples on the boat in the middle of a huge lake.  Near dawn they see (or think they see) Jesus walking across the water toward them.  They struggled to believe hat it was really Jesus and not a figment of their imaginations.  Peter showed that he believed and with Jesus’ help was able to do the impossible.  His only problem came in when he stopped believing that Jesus was with him.  We can do anything that God asks of us IF we believe God will be with us to make it possible.

Activities to do at home:

            *Believe in the impossible!  Together with your child, think of one thing you know you should do but just don’t believe that you can.  Pray for strength and guidance, step out in faith and begin!
            *Make a game!  Practice listening with your child for God in your life.  Discuss with each other each time this week that you experience God.  Some examples would be when you know in your heart the right thing to do, when you see the smile of a child, or when a song on the radio hits you and gives you a message you need to hear.

            *Try something new!  Think up a new activity to try this week and do it!

Thank you for sharing your children!

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