• September 3, 2017 22nd Sunday Ordinary Time A

    Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time  Cycle A

    Welcome the children to their worship space.

     Ask them to get their carpet squares and sit down in a circle.

    Introduce yourself and your helpers.

    Introduce Sunday

                Explain:  Today is the Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time.  What can anyone tell me about Ordinary Time?  <it is one of the church seasons, the color is always green>  Does anyone know what the next season will be and what it is called?  <The next season is Advent and usually begins in November>
    Ask:  Does anyone remember what the symbol for last Sunday was?  <a church on a rock>  And what did it represent?  <It represented Jesus’ church built on a strong foundation.>  Peter was the strong person Jesus chose to lead the church and help build it.  Our job is to carry on Peter’s work.

    Introduce symbol

    Say:  Our symbol today is a cross.
    Explain:  What does a cross make you think of?  <Jesus>  Why does a cross make us think of Jesus?  <because Jesus was crucified on a cross>

    Ask:  Here’s what we need to think about today.  Did Jesus have a choice?  Did he have to die on the cross?  What do you think?  <discuss>

    Say:  YES!!!  Absolutely Jesus had a choice.  Jesus is God.  Jesus can do whatever he wants.  But he loves us so much that he wanted to know how we feel when we have bad times in our lives.  He showed us how to listen to God and do what he asks us to do.

    Say:  Now we are going to practice the Responsorial Psalm, that part between the readings where you get to help.  The Responsorial Psalm comes from the Bible just like our readings do.  Today’s psalm is:  My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord, my God.  Can you say this with me?  <Have the children repeat it.>

                Ask:  Have you ever been thirsty?  What did it feel like?  <discuss>  What do you think it means ‘to thirst for God’?  <discuss>

    Introduce the 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 today is from the Old Testament book of the prophet Jeremiah.  (Jeremiah 20:7-9).  In this reading Jeremiah is not happy about being God’s servant.  He sounds pretty upset with God.  Listen to what Jeremiah prays to God.

    Have the reader read the reading.

    Ask:  What did you hear?  <discuss>  When Jeremiah did what God asked him to do, people made fun of him and treated him badly.  Why do you think that Jeremiah kept on telling people about God?  <discuss>

    Say:  Jeremiah remained open to God’s will.  Jeremiah loved God.  That love was stronger than anything anyone else could do to hurt him.  It is not always easy to do the right thing.

    Say:  Now is the time for the Responsorial Psalm that we practiced.  <have a volunteer hold up the poster> Repeat after me:  My soul is thirsting for you, my Lord and my God.

    Have the reader read the psalm.

    Say:  Now it’s time to read the Gospel.  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the New Testament book of Matthew.  (Matthew 16:21-25:)  This reading tells us about a time that Jesus told his disciples how he was going to die.  Do you remember how that happened?  <met with Pilate, he was turned over to the Jews, he was crucified on the cross, etc.>  Peter could not understand why Jesus would allow such a horrible thing to happen to him.  Peter knew that Jesus was God and that he could stop the people from killing him.  Listen closely and hear what Jesus told Peter.
    Say:  Now let’s stand and get ready to read the Gospel.
    Alleluia, Alleluia.

    Read the Gospel.

     Ask:  What did Jesus say to Peter?  <Satan, get away from me!>  Jesus called Peter Satan!  The man he would choose to lead his church, Jesus called him Satan.  Why do you think he did that?  <Peter was tempting Jesus not to follow God’s will.  Peter was trying to get Jesus to save himself instead of listening to God>  Did Jesus really think that Peter was Satan?  <no>  But sometimes even the best people get in the way of God’s will.  People don’t think like God thinks.  And that is Satan’s work.

    Ask:  Acting the way that is right is not always easy.  Jesus said that following God’s will, doing the right thing, is like a cross.  We each have crosses that we must carry id we are to follow Jesus.  Think about the crosses that God gave you to carry and try to do a better job of carrying them.

    Hand out the large Offertory symbols (crosses) for the children to color and the smaller symbols (crosses) for the children to put their names on for the poster.

    Explain:  Color the symbol of the cross and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!) to show what we have learned about accepting the crosses that God gives us to carry.

    Ask the older children to write down one thing that they can do this week to look for things in their lives that show God’s love for them.

    While they are coloring, go over the procedure for entering the church at the Offertory, how they approach the altar and put their symbols in the basket that the lead child will place at the altar.

    Give out parent letters, coloring hand-outs and stickers.

    Use this graphic for all 3 symbols.....  cut out in light colors for the community poster, create a mid-sized symbol for the banner out of stiff paper or cardboard, and copy full page-size copies in black & white to color and use for the Offertory gift.

    Parent Letter

    Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time  A

    Dear Parents,

                Today is the Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time.  The children listened to simplified versions of two of the same readings you did: Jeremiah 20:7-9 and Matthew 16:21-25.

    Symbol: Cross

    To reinforce at home:
                Today we talked about how hard it is sometimes to do what God asks us to do.  Jeremiah complained as he prayed to God about all the people who persecuted him when he taught them about God.  He complained about how hard it was to keep on teaching.  But because he was open to God’s will, the need to continue his teaching was very strong.

                Jesus told his Apostles about his impending death and resurrection.  Peter’s reaction was really quite predictable in human terms.  He told his best friend, the man he knew was divine, to stop the process, to save himself.  But Peter, for all his caring for Jesus, stood between Jesus and the will of God.  It is important for us to learn to listen to God and do the right thing – even when it is hard.

    Activities to do at home:

                *Together with your child, make a large cross out of posterboard.  Make a list of some hard things you have to do that you know are the right things, the things that God wants you to do.
                *Pray about it!  Jeremiah sounds like he is complaining to God.  God is your friend and he loves you.  Sometimes when you are honest with God, it sounds like complaining.  Tell God how you feel and then say YES anyway.

    Thank you for sharing your children!

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