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 The people in charge of the church dinner need help passing out desserts.
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Can You Make a Difference?
Choose six situations and be ready to tell how you can make a difference.
You get $20 for your birthday.
Every five seconds a child somewhere in the world dies of hunger.
Your grandfather is in the hospital.
Your friend’s dog dies.
There are paper cups, candy wrappers, and all other kinds of trash in the bushes along your street.
A stray cat has been hanging around your backyard.
No one listens when your teacher asks for silence.
A new classmate doesn’t speak English very well.
One of your friends posts an embarrassing picture of you.
PFLAUM GOSPEL WEEKLIES Faith Formation Program
Kids pick on an overweight classmate.
February 4, 2018
5th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The NEW Gospel Weeklies
PFLAUM GOSPEL WEEKLIES Faith Formation Program
Ask any children who have been present at the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick to share their experiences. Then read the text aloud together.
Share Experiences
Objectives l The children will:
l Imagine ways they can practice compassion.
l Recognize their compassion can make a difference. Gather in a prayer circle. Play and sing “We Will Walk With
God” (CD-2, #8). Lyrics may be found at
Gathering Prayer The theme for week’s lesson is compassion. Ask the children to name people for whom they wish to pray. Respond to each name, “Loving God, bring him (or her) healing.” Conclude by thanking God for the love and compassion present in this group of children.
Cover Activity l Can You Make a Difference? (page 1) Distribute Venture and a pencil to each child. Allow the children to sit with the cover activity for a few moments. Invite them to circle the six situations for which they think they could make a difference. Then ask volunteers to share how children their age could make a difference in any of the situations. Conclude that the thing their answers have in common is compassion, which is the ability to feel what another person is feeling and to respond with help and kindness.
Story l Who Gets to Play? (pages 2–3) Ask the children to speculate from the title and photos what the story is about. This is a good story to read aloud to your group. Have them get comfortable so listening is easy. Use the questions as necessary while you’re reading to keep the children engaged.
Turn to the Think questions on page 3. Most of the responses are open-ended, but try to conclude that Gary seems stuck in his meanness. Perhaps the whole group
standing up to him will help him reconsider how he wants to be.
Answers: 1. Open-ended; the children will have experiences that they will want to share, but keep these responses brief. 2. Why does anyone engage in name-calling? Insecurity, meanness. Open-ended. Most children who hurt others have been hurt themselves in some way. Ask: Why does being treated poorly compel some kids to become mean and hardened toward others, while some children take a similar experience and, instead, choose to extend friendship to others who may be hurt? 3. Tim knows what it’s like to be new in town. 4. When one person stands up to a bully, it’s easier for others to follow suit. Open-ended.
Discover Gospel and Doctrine
Objectives l The children will:
l See how Jesus’ healing actions inspire human beings to
serve others.
l Recognize God’s healing love in the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.
Gospel Ritual Move to a special area you have set up for the Gospel reading. As you prepare the children to read this Sunday’s Gospel, play “Word of Truth and Life” (CD-1, #1).
Sunday Gospel l Jesus Brings Healing to Many People (page 4) Have five children take parts and proclaim the Gospel. Note: A detail that goes easily unnoticed in this Gospel is that Peter’s mother-in-law becomes Jesus’ first woman disciple. She responds to Jesus’ act of raising her up from a fever by serving him. The Greek word for serve is diakonei. It is the word Jesus uses of himself when he says he comes to serve, not to be served. During Lent and Easter, the children will meet more of Jesus’ women disciples.
Discuss the Think questions on page 4. Use these questions to help children realize how much compassion Jesus had for the poor and suffering. Answers: 1. He wants
everyone to be healed. We cannot live our best lives if we are broken (physical, mentally, or spiritually). 2. They all come seeking Jesus’ healing or counsel. 3. To heal, love, and make people whole; open- ended.
Connecting Gospel and Doctrine l Jesus Calls Us to Compassion (page 4) Compassion is not passive; it calls each of us to feel with another person. Read the doctrine that relates to this Sunday’s Gospel.
Turn to the Think questions on page 4. These questions can be answered in two ways—either as a class, taking turns going around the room, or as a brief essay or
journaling assignment. Encourage the children to express their thanks to a person who shows them kindness and compassion and to reflect on how they can seek opportunities to show compassion to others.
Distribute the children’s What the Church Believes and Teaches handbooks.
Teaching This Week’s Lesson
What the Church Believes and Teaches
What Happens in the Anointing of the Sick? (page 24)

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