• Apr 15, 2018 3nd Sunday of Easter B

    3rd Sunday of Easter Cycle B

    Welcome children to their worship space.

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

    Introduce yourself and your helpers.
    Ask:  Is it Lent any more?  <no>  Does anyone remember what season of the church year we are celebrating?  <Easter>

     Say:  Today is the 3rd Sunday Of Easter.  Which great feast are we preparing for?  <Pentecost>  Can anyone tell me what Pentecost is?  <the day we celebrate the birthday of the church, the time when the Holy Spirit came forward to help all of us now that Jesus is no longer on earth as a human>.

    Ask:  Does anyone remember what our symbol was for last week?  <dove>  And what did the dove represent?  <peace>

    Explain:  Peace is one of the things that Jesus wished for all the members of his church.  He wanted us all to love one another and to be reconciled with each other.
    Does anyone remember the meaning of the word “reconcile”?  <that we are not fighting with each other, that we show each other the love that Christ shows for us>
    What is the name of the Sacrament that brings us God’s peace?  <Reconciliation>

    Introduce symbol
    Say:   Today’s symbol is an open Bible.
    Ask:  Can anyone tell me what a Bible is?  <a book of stories and letters given to us with God’s help, information given to us by God to help us live our lives in a way that we can get closer to Him> 
    Explain:  One of the ways that we build God’s church on earth is to study and to pray to understand what God wants us to do.  Sometimes life gets very confusing.  The Bible has thoughts and ideas that will help us know how to live our lives and it has to open for us to use it!

    Say:  Let’s look at today’s poster.  What does it say? <Lord, let your face shine on us.>  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 New Testament Acts of the Apostles. (Acts  3:13-15, 17-19)  Usually we hear a reading from the Old Testament before the Gospel reading.  During the Easter season, we will hear from the New Testament book of Acts. Does anyone remember why that would be?  <because in Acts we learn about the days of the early church – and during the Easter season, the church spends time studying how the early church was formed in the days after Jesus’ death and Resurrection>
    Today’s reading is about the man that Jesus chose to be the leader of the church.  He is telling the people of Jerusalem something very important.  Pretend that you are a person who lived in Jerusalem when Jesus was killed and see if you can understand what this man is telling you.

    Have the reader read the first reading.

    Ask:  First of all, who was the man that Jesus chose to lead the church on earth?  <Peter>  And who is the church’s leader today?  <Pope John Paul II>  Peter was the first pope.
    Next, what did Peter tell the people of Jerusalem?  < that God forgives them!  Just a few days earlier, the crowd of people insisted that Jesus be killed.  Peter is giving them the good news that God forgives them >  Peter told them that God understood that they didn’t know exactly what they were doing.  He told them if they were sorry for their sins that God would forgive them. 
    Say:  Peter gives us that very same message today.  When you are sorry for your sins, God will forgive you.

    Say: Now it is time for the Responsorial Psalm.  Your part is to say:
    Lord, let your face shine upon us.

    Say:  Today’s Gospel reading comes from the book of Luke  (Luke 24:35-48).  Today’s reading tells of another time when Jesus visited the Apostles after he rose from the dead.  He tried to help them understand that he really did rise from the dead, that he was real.  He ate with them and asked them to touch him so they would know that he was really there with them.  He told them that they should now go and tell everyone what had happened.

    Say:  Now we will stand and get ready to hear the Gospel
    (hold up card)  Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

    Have the reader begin: “a reading from the holy gospel.....”

    Read:  Read the Gospel

    Ask:  How do you think you would feel if your good friend Jesus – who you knew had died – all of sudden met you on the road?  Would you believe that it was him?  Or might you think that you were imagining things?

    Hand out the poster cut-outs of a Bible so that the children can write their names on them for the poster.

    Hand out the symbols to color. (The symbol is a bible).  Ask the older children to write one thing they can do this week to listen to God’s Word.
    Explain: Color this symbol of the Bible and bring it to the altar (don’t forget to put your name on the back!)  to show that we have learned about learning about God’s forgiveness.

    If there is time, ask questions and go over the lessons one more time to help the children remember.

    Give out stickers and hand-outs as they leave.

    Use this graphic in a light color to make the small poster cutouts
    Use this graphic in brighter colors and a ribbon bookmark for the mid-sized banner symbol
    Copy this graphic full-size so that children can color and give as an Offertory gift

    Parent Letter

    3rd Sunday of Easter  B

    Dear Parents,

                 Today is the Feast of the Holy Family.  The children listened to two of the same readings you did: Acts 3:13-15, 17-19; Luke 24:35-48.

    Symbol: Open Bible

    To reinforce at home:
    Today our focus was on trying to understand God’s plan for us and for his church.  Our symbol was the open Bible, the Word that God gave us to help us live the way he wants us to live.
    We heard in the reading from Acts that God loves all of us and can forgive any sin that we are sorry for.  We reminded the children that Peter, who shared this message in Acts, was chosen by Jesus to lead the church.  We remembered that Pope John Paul II is the successor of Peter.

    Activities to do at home:

    *Share your favorite Bible story with your child during your regular read-aloud time and help your child understand how it might apply to his or her life.

    Thank you for sharing your children!

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