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• To emphasize the religious nature of these celebrations, read the opening prayer from the Mass for the feast days.• Invite another adult—a teacher, director of religious education, principal, pastor, or a parent—to come to your meeting and share with the children some information about one of their favorite saints.FOLLOW JESUS13. Jesus Is God’s Son—page 20Let the children share loving stories about their own families. Be sure to share a story about your own family, either now or when you were the age of the children in your group.Using the Christmas crèche or a picture of the nativityof Jesus, have children identify Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. Explain that Mary and Joseph were married. Jesus was the Son of God and the child of Mary. Joseph was his foster father. He took care of Jesus and Mary here on earth.Ask children what they think the Holy Family did every day. Help them think of ordinary things that their fami- lies also do—eating together, sharing news, praying, and working. Mary worked at home—cleaning, baking bread, washing clothes, and so on. Joseph was a carpenter. Jesus helped Mary and Joseph. He played with his friends. Have children form groups of three. Have the groups role-play scenes from the life of the Holy Family.Have each child draw a picture of the Holy Family doing something that their own family might do. Ask children to take their pictures home and tell their families about their pictures.14. Jesus Teaches Us—page 21Help children visualize each teaching of Jesus listed on this page. Ask children to give instances of how they have or could do each. For example, they could tell about how they have been fair, a time when they told the truth, and so on.Have children make a collage. On a large sheet of poster board, write the words, Jesus Teaches Us. Have children look through magazines for pictures that depict people helping, sharing, forgiving, and so on.After children complete the coloring activity, ask volun- teers to act out each example of someone following Jesus. Let them add their own ideas of how children follow the teaching of Jesus.  e rest of the class may guess what action is being demonstrated.15. Jesus Wants Us to Do the Right Thing—page 22 Talk about the times when Jesus obeyed his Father.• He came to earth as a human child.• He preached the Kingdom of God and brought it withinour reach.• He showed us the love of the Father.• He died on the Cross to save all of us.• He returned to his Father in Heaven.Help children understand that we can choose to obey God every day. We can choose to do what is right and good. Give an explanation of sin. A sin is freely choosing to do what we know is wrong. It is going against what God wants and disobeying God. Tell children that they can’t judge whether an action is sinful by looking at how biga mess they made or how angry someone is with them. What makes an action a sin is choosing to do what they know is wrong.Read Matthew 25:34-40 from a children’s Bible or Lection- ary. Give children time to draw a picture of themselves taking care of someone who needs help. Be sure to give the children an opportunity to share their pictures. Con- nect their actions to the Gospel passage as they share. Help children identify acts of kindness they can do at home for family members.Involve children in a small service project. Choose a project that they can accomplish on their own. It could be decorating paper grocery bags for the parish food pan- try, making cards for people in the parish who are sick, picking up litter on the parish grounds, or collecting good used books for children at a women’s or family shelter.16. Do What Jesus Says—page 23Tell children that Mary was the person who did the best at following Jesus. She loved God and Jesus very much. Mary can help us to be good followers of Jesus, too. Read the story of the wedding at Cana to the children. Ask the children to retell the story to you. Ask them who did what Jesus said. e children will enjoy acting out this story.  ere are plenty of roles to go around: Jesus, Mary, the bride and11

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