We looked at our seeds/plants and talked about the Kingdom of God (that new life from the kerygma!)growing in us.
We also talked about the kingship of Jesus and acted out the parable of the sheep and the goats. That's the one where Jesus gives us what Mother Teresa called "The Gospel on 5 Fingers." Whatever you did to the least of these, You. Did. It. To. Me.
Now, the examples Jesus gave in the parable are what we call the Corporal Works of Mercy, and this is the Year of Mercy. The possibilities are endless!
We started with a great game that I picked up from my home schooling friend, Judy.
The object is to perform each work of mercy. Judy had a lot of older kids play it as a relay race, I just had them go around and do each station, and they loved it!
The stations went like this:
Shelter the Homeless: build a house from blocks
Clothe the naked: dress the doll,
Comfort the sick: stick a bandage on the sheep
Visit the Imprisoned: visit poor locked up Klenda
Feed the Hungry: stack cans (for a soup kitchen)
Give Drink to the Thirsty: pour a cup of water
Bury the Dead: bury a Lego minifigure
At the end I explained to them that doing the works of mercy changes our hearts to be more like Jesus', and I gave them little candy hearts. I also gave them a handout with practical ideas for kids and families to do the Works of Mercy.
We looked at this picture of the Holy Door of St. Peter's,and then we did this amazing Holy Door craft from Look to Him and Be Radiant.
She has a whole page of awesome ideas for the Year of Mercy with a slew of excellent (free!) printables. Seriously, she's like my favorite Pinterest page all by herself!
We printed off he Holy Door printables (all found with instructions here). We looked at how her pictures and the bronzes on the actual door lined up,and I quickly went overall the stories (many of which we had covered this year).
They colored the inside page with multicolored streaks of chalk pastel and the door page with bronzy colored pastels.
They blended them with their fingers (don't forget the wet wipes!), then Klenda and I snipped open the doors and stapled the door page to the inside page.
They looked fantastic! I also let the kids write Holy Door across the top, and Year of Mercy across the bottom with silver and gold markers.
I had just enough time to finish up with the story of pretzels and have a quick snack!
Nope. Pretzels are shaped like arms folded in prayer.
Back in the day, the Church's Lenten fast was quite strict: no meat for 40 days, no eggs, no cheese, no butter... wait, what did they eat then? Bread! You could have bread. And Jesus told us to be the salt of the earth.
That's what pretzels are: bread and salt, shaped like prayer! The first Lenten super food, straight from medieval German monks to you! Enjoy!