The main focus this week is the Church. Not the church as a building, but the Church as the people that believe and worship the Lord. We, as people, are the church. The church started as a tiny group of people, and has grown and spread throughout the world. Amazing!
The First Reading is from Ezekiel. Good old Ezekiel was a prophet who did some very strange things to get the people's attention and convince them to turn to God. A prophet is a person who speaks for God...not matter what it will cost him/her. He lived about 600 years before Jesus, during the time of the Babylonian Captivity (The Hebrew people were slaves in Babylon, they were worshiping false gods, etc. All around, sounds like a rough time).
For little kids, I would give them three thoughts about this passage. First, they'll need to know that a cedar is a tree and a shoot is a small branch growing from the tree.
- One: It's talking about trees and branches. The Gospel will be talking about trees and branches...cool connection!
- Two: When the Old Testament talks about shoots and branches, it's usually a hint about Jesus. If we think of Jesus in this passage instead of a shoot, suddenly, we have some good descriptions of Jesus. Jesus is majestic. Birds (people) shall live with Him and He will care for them.
- Three: We can all see ourselves as shoots from a tree. With God's grace, we will grow up "big and strong" and care for those around us. We are all part of the same tree that is God's church (remember, church as people, not as a building.)
This would be a great Psalm for little kiddos to memorize. It's short and easy to apply to their lives. Even my two year old takes part in our prayers and is able to understand the "Thank You God" part of the prayer. He's usually thankful for baboons and cars, but it's still going to help him learn that God should be thanked for all!
- This Psalm ties into the thought that we are shoots on the tree, growing and flourishing in the Lord. The younger kids will be completely lost by most of this, however, older kiddos might be able to read through this psalm and gain some great insights about God's expectations.
2 Corinthians 5:6-10
There are no tree references in this one, but it mentions the Body of the Church. We are part of the Body of Christ. It's also hinting at Heaven if you want to have a heaven discussion with your kids. I think the Heaven discussion is a worthwhile topic, but the inevitable statement of, "I wish I was in Heaven" just crushes my heart, so we don't talk about it often.
Don't forget to download your Catholic Kids Bulletin for this weekend!
*Disclaimer* I'm not a theologian and this is not a textbook. I'm over-simplifying and making information understandable for little ears. If I'm missing things or misspeaking (writing), feel free to comment with your ideas. Thanks!