Twenty-eighth Ordinary Sunday
Preparing for a celebration
Points to note
There are actually two parables in this Sunday’s reading, although treated as one in the reading. You may wish to concentrate on one or the other. Both parables are in the nature of allegories.
The first parable is akin to that of last Sunday and it may be an idea to revisit the leaflet (cf. Sunday 27). Many of the points raised there apply again this week. Role-playing would also be useful here. In introducing the first parable, it is advisable to refer to what was done last Sunday to refresh the memory. This would reinforce the idea in the children’s minds that the readings for the Sundays are part of an integral plan.
The second parable introduces a new concept of being ready, which has not been touched on in the last few Sundays. Please refer to the adult’s leaflet for the details of this reading.
Acclamation before the Gospel
The Word was made flesh and lived among us;
to all who did accept him he gave power to become children of God.
Go through with them again the nature of a parable and what allegories are. Ask them to watch out for the persons the characters in the parable represent. Remind the children of the reading last week.
The Lord be with you.
All: And also with your spirit.
A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St Matthew
All: Glory to you O Lord
Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who gave a feast for his son’s wedding. He sent his servants to call those who had been invited, but they would not come. Next he sent some more servants. ‘Tell those who have been invited’, he said, ‘that I have my banquet all prepared, my oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, everything is ready. Come to the wedding.’ But they were not interested: one went off to his farm, another to his business, and the rest seized his servants and killed them. The king was furious. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers and burnt their town. Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready; but those who were invited proved to be unworthy, go to the cross-roads in the town and invite everyone you can find to the wedding.’ So these servants went out on to the roads and collected together everyone they could find, bad and good alike; and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
When the king came in to look at the guests he noticed one man who was not wearing wedding clothes, and said to him, ‘How did you get in here, my friend, without wedding clothes?’ And the man was silent. Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and throw him out into the dark.’ For many are called, but few are chosen.”
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Has anybody helped prepare for a wedding? Was there a lot of preparation to do? Get the children to discuss whose wedding they helped prepare and what they personally did in the wedding preparations. Discuss what else others did to prepare. If no one in the group has helped in a wedding, replace with another celebration: birthday party, etc.
How many of us have attended a wedding feast? Do we dress up well for the wedding? Discuss how the host would feel if we turn up for the feast in shabby clothes or clothes that we wear at home. And this is after all the hard work that they have put into preparing the wedding feast.
The mass we have at Church every Sunday is also a feast and there is much preparation to do. Has anyone helped in preparing for a mass? Discuss the preparations needed for a mass: the priest has to pray, and prepare his homily and the prayers; the lectors have to rehearse their readings and pray over them; the choir will practise the hymns; the other ministers need to know what is expected of them and pray; the sacristan gets the church and the altar ready; the altar has to be decorated with flowers, etc..
Jesus invites us to be with him in Paradise. Paradise is usually described as a big banquet. Have you made any preparation for this feast? Going by the same thread as the earlier discussions, the children will be looking at how the host prepares for this banquet. Eventually, bring the discussion round to our preparation to attend the banquet. Ask how upset they would be if guests turn up at the wedding or birthday party dressed as they would at home. Similarly with God if we do not prepare ourselves to attend the banquet in Paradise. How do we prepare ourselves for the banquet in Paradise? By loving, praying, caring, etc. Spend some time to discuss this.