Sunday, October 22, 2023

30th Sunday Ordinary Time A

Children’s Liturgy Instructions

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 Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time. 

Ask: Last week’s symbol was a number 1.  We talked about making sure that God is the Number 1 priority in our lives.  Sometimes we get so busy that we forget – but God always remembers us!.

Introduce symbol
            Say:  Can anyone tell me what today’s symbol is?  <hold up symbol and let children guess>  Today’s symbol is a 10 Commandment tablet with hearts on it.  What can anyone tell me about the 10 Commandments?  <given to Moses by God, rules to live by, maybe mention a few of them, etc.>  Why did God give us the 10 Commandments?  <because God loves us!>  God loves us so much that he wants to make it easy for us to live a good life.  God tells us exactly what to do to follow him.

            Say:  Today we are going to talk about how easy God makes it for us to be the kind of people he wants us to be.

Say:  Let’s take a look at the poster.  What does it say?  <I love you, Lord, my strength.>  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 does the word  “strength” mean?  <let the children respond>  It comes from the word “strong”.  Is anyone here strong?  God helps us to be strong.

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 New Testament letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonian people (1 Thessalonians 1:5-8a).  Is it easy to be good?  <sometimes>  If you are good, if you behave the way you are supposed to, what happens to your friends around you?  <they see you and sometimes it helps them to be good, too>  When we set a good example, others follow.  When we listen to God we can help others listen to God too.  The reading today is a letter from St. Paul.

Ask:  Do you remember that St. Paul traveled many places teaching people about Jesus?  He would come to a town, teach people and help them get a new church started and then go to the next town.  After that St. Paul kept in touch by writing letters.  Pretend that you are one of the people who received this letter from St. Paul.  Listen to what St. Paul has to say to you.

Have the reader read the first reading.

Ask:  What did St. Paul tell you?  <let the children respond>  St. Paul talks about “telling you the good news”.  What is the “good news”?  The “good news” is information about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  When we say “good news” today, we are talking about the Gospels.

Say:  Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part will be to say:
            I love you, Lord, my strength.

Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of St. Matthew (Matt 22:34-40)  When Jesus was here on earth, he and his family belonged to a church just like you do.  He belonged to the Jewish religion.  The Jewish religion had a sacred Scripture, words from God – to help them know how to live.  This Scripture is part of our Bible too.  It is part of what we call the Old Testament.  In the Old Testament, we hear that God has told us many things over the years, many ways to live a good life.  Often, people misunderstood and did the wrong things anyway.
            One of the things that Jesus came to do was to help us to understand exactly how God wanted us to behave.  During Jesus’ lifetime, the important people in Jesus’ church didn’t appreciate what Jesus told everybody.  Many times, they tried to trick him into making a big mistake.  Today’s reading from St. Matthew tells us about one of those times.  The priests tried to make Jesus pick the most important commandment.  Let’s hear what Jesus had to say.

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:  Which commandment did Jesus pick?  <LOVE>  Is LOVE one of the Commandments?  <not exactly>  How many commandments did God give Moses?  <10>  Jesus explained all of the commandments by telling how they were all about LOVE. 

Say:  Your parent letter will list all 10 of the commandments.  Look at them carefully.  The first 3 commandments are all about loving God.  The next 7 commandments are all about loving other people.  So Jesus answered the priests truly without saying anything that would get him into trouble with them.

Hand out the poster cut-outs of a tablet 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 10 Commandment tablets and bring them to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show what we have learned about the 2 greatest commandments.
Ask the older children to write something on their symbol that they can do this week to show Jesus’ great love for God and others.

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.

Use this graphic in a small size for the poster

This graphic is used to create the mid-sized banner symbol and the black & white coloring symbol for the Offertory gift

Parent Letter

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time  A

Dear Parents,

The children listened to simplified versions of two of the same readings you did: 1 Thessalonians 1:5-8a and Matthew 22:34-40.

Symbol: 10 Commandment tablet with hearts on them

To reinforce at home:
            The selection from the first letter of St Paul to the Thessalonians reminds us that we are an example to others.  We get to choose whether we are a good example or a bad one.
            St. Matthew’s Gospel continues with stories about times when the Jewish priests tried to trick Jesus into saying something that was different from the Jewish teachings.  In today’s reading, they asked Jesus to pick the most important Commandment.  Remember that God gave Moses 10 commandments – rules to live by.  All the Commandments are important.
            Jesus explained what the Commandments really meant:  they are given in two groups, the first 3 tell us how to honor and love God, the last 7 tell us how to honor and love God’s children (which includes ourselves!)

New word / concept:  GOOD NEWS (in St. Paul’s letter)  St. Paul was talking about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  GOOD NEWS means the same thing today, but usually refers to the Gospels.

Activities to do at home:

*Learn the 10 Commandments!
1.      I am the Lord your God, put no other gods before me.
2.      Don’t use God’s name inappropriately.
3.      Give God your time one day a week.

4.      Honor your parents.
5.      Don’t take away someone else’s life.
6.      Honor your spouse.
7.      Don’t take what doesn’t belong to you.
8.      Don’t lie or tell gossip about others.
9.      Don’t let wishing for things other people have ruin your life.
10. Don’t let wishing for another spouse ruin your life

*Love others as you love yourself!  Sometimes we forget the SELF part.  We can give ourselves love without being selfish (and hurting others)  Do something special this week to honor and love yourselves.
Thank you for sharing your children!

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