Children s Liturgy of the Word

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1 Children s Liturgy of the Word Have you ever been invited to someone s home for a meal and they have spent the whole time running around, fussing and you did not really get the time just to be with them and that was the main purpose of you being there in the first place? Does running around and fussing express what good hospitality is? Is the meal more important than the guest? Have the do and don ts of dining etiquette taken precedence over the values of companionship and fellowship? These are important questions to reflect on in our daily lives as well as being members of a Christian community. Whether it s a family meal or a Sunday Eucharist, there is so much to share beyond the actions of eating and drinking. Love, friendship, welcome, faith-sharing, support and genuine care for each other calls us to be fully present to each other. Engaging each other in the preparation of the meal makes it all the more enjoyable. When the preparation is left to one individual and the meal is taken for granted that person can feel devalued. When an individual insists that the meal preparation is their sole domain and no one can do it as well as them then everyone else at the gathering can feel devalued. When the rules about meal sharing become more important than the people it becomes a rote and empty activity. When the meal is shaped only to the tastes of a few and others are not considered it can become a source of division rather than communion.

2 In short, we forget Jesus is present and we don t hear what he has come to teach us. We need to be both Mary and Martha in a balanced approach to Christian living and faith practice. If mum or dad are always absent from the family meal because they have to work late, or if all the preparation and cleaning up is always left to mum or dad then the quality of our shared life together suffers too. But when everyone chips in and the joys and worries of the day are shared we can build stronger relationships. We can come to know ourselves as individuals within the context of a loving and accepting family. So it is when we gather as a Christian family at Mass. There are so many tasks that we can join in accomplishing together whether it be setting up, decorating the church, serving at the altar, welcoming people, singing, reading, or ministers of Holy Communion. Everyone is gifted by the Holy Spirit for something and everyone is needed. In this way, we create the communal space to sit at the feet of Jesus, to hear his Word and receive him in the Eucharistic meal. A small table, green cloth, candle, and bible. Loving God, we come to hear your Word on this Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C. We sign our forehead with the sign of the cross, open our minds and our understanding to your Word. We sign our lips with the sign of the cross, help us to speak your truth. We sign our hearts with the sign of the cross, may we carry the Good News of Jesus and share it with everyone we meet.

3 A reading from the book of Genesis One hot summer afternoon Abraham was sitting by the entrance to his tent near the sacred trees of Mamre, when the Lord appeared to him. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. He quickly ran to meet them and bowed with his face to the ground. He said, "Please come to my home where I can serve you. I will have some water brought, so you can wash your feet, and then you can rest under the tree. Let me get you some food to give you strength before you leave. I would be honoured to serve you." They answered, "Thank you very much. We accept your offer." Abraham hurried to his tent and said to Sarah, "Hurry! Get a large sack of fine flour. Then mix it and make some bread." After saying this, he hurried off to his herd of cattle and picked out one of the best calves, which his servant quickly prepared. He served his guests some yogurt and milk, together with the meat. While they were eating, he stood near them under the trees. They asked him, "Where is your wife Sarah?" He answered, "She is right there in the tent."

4 One of the guests was the Lord, and he said, "I will come back next spring, and when I do, Sarah will already have a son." The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God. R. The just will live in the presence of the Lord. Who may stay in God's temple or live on the holy mountain of the Lord? Only those who obey God and do as they should. They speak the truth and don't spread gossip. R. They treat others fairly and don't say cruel things. Those who do these things will always stand firm. R. A reading from the letter of Paul to the Colossians Brothers and sisters: God did this because he wanted you Gentiles to understand his wonderful and glorious mystery. And the mystery is that Christ lives in you, and he is your hope of sharing in God's glory. We announce the message about Christ, and we use all our wisdom to warn and teach everyone, so that all Christ's followers will grow and become mature. The word of the Lord.

5 Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia. Blessed are they who have kept the word with a generous heart and yield a harvest through perseverance. Alleluia. A reading from the holy gospel according to Luke The Lord and his disciples were travelling along and came to a village. When they got there, a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat down in front of the Lord and was listening to what he said. Martha was worried about all that had to be done. Finally, she went to Jesus and said, "Lord, doesn't it bother you that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her to come and help me!" The Lord answered, "Martha, Martha! You are worried and upset about so many things, but only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen what is best, and it will not be taken away from her." The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

6 Invite the children to share their experience of meal gatherings with you; o Who prepares the meal? o Who sets the table? o Who helps clean up? o What do they talk about during the meal? Do they say grace before starting the meal? You could encourage them to learn this simple prayer or do an internet search for a variety of prayers by providing them with a paper copy of the prayer and link below. Dear God Thank you for this day, For fun, friendship and family. We give thanks for this meal And share our lives always with you. (a children's grace prayer from Invite the children to share with you the ways that people prepare and participate in the Mass. Share with them that when they participate in Children s Liturgy of the Word or listen to the Gospel and homily in the Mass that they are like Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening to his teaching. Share with them that when they are welcoming people and giving out Mass sheets, or helping to tidy up after Mass, or being altar servers, or joining in with the prayers and parts of the Mass, they are being like Martha. But, if we all do something to help we can all spend more time being like Mary. I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth,

7 and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen. Excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal 2010, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. Leader: Loving God, help us to grow more and more in our faith as we pray; Reader: We pray for the Church, that we will make more time to listen to Jesus and his teaching. Lord, hear us. All: Lord, hear our prayer. Reader: We pray for people who are too busy and don t make enough time to be with the ones they love, including God. Lord, hear us. All: Lord, hear our prayer. Reader: We pray for people who are overburdened, tired and don t feel appreciated, that others will see their distress and support them. Lord, hear us. All: Lord, hear our prayer.

8 Reader: We remember all those who welcomed us and gave us true hospitality and who are now in heaven, especially our family and friends. Lord, hear us. All: Lord, hear our prayer. Leader: Loving God, we make our prayers in the name of Jesus, your beloved Son. Amen. o Having been fed at the Table of the Word, we now prepare to share in the celebration of the Eucharist. May we be people who make time for Jesus and others in the coming week.

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