Witnessing Belief in God (PS/A)

Published November 10, 2016 by Publisher

Theme: Witnessing Belief in God.

Scripture: 2 Maccabees 7:1-14.  The story of a mother and seven brothers, all of whom died for refusing to betray their faith in God.

This Biblical example may be a little to harsh for very young children so we have chosen to tell the story of Therese of Lisieux (as introduced in the 2013-2014 Children’s Liturgy of the Word) and how she witnessed her faith everyday in small ways.

Puppets: Jane as Therese

Puppet set: Not needed

Puppet direction: The children in the classroom will be organized into three groups. Each teacher aid and his/her group is given a worksheet by the class teacher. The teacher aid is instructed to discuss the situation Therese finds herself — as indicated on the worksheet — and ask the children how they think Therese would respond. After group discussion, the teacher aid in each group will use Jane (as Therese) to present to the whole class how Therese would respond to the situation she found herself in.

Teacher to the class

“You children are fortunate to live in a country where the government allows people to practice any religion they want and to believe in God or not to believe in God. But there are some places in the world where the government does not allow people to practice whatever religion they want.  And some people are even killed for saying to the government, “I will continue to believe in God or the religion I choose.”

People who die instead of giving up their faith in their religion are called martyrs.

Jesus was willing to die on the cross to show people how much he believed in God, our father.

Today, however, there are other ways that each one of us can show other people how much we believe in God and God’s commandments.

For example, everyday you are faced with choices — to do the right thing or the wrong thing. Doing things the right way is like telling the world, “I believe in God and the way God wants me to do things.” This is called witnessing your faith or belief in God.

Today we are going to play a game called “What would Therese do or say?”

Therese was a real person. Therese’s family was very rich. When Therese was only four years old, her mother died. Everyone else in her family felt sorry for Therese and did everything for her.  Therese became very spoiled and self-centered.

One day Therese became very sick. For three weeks she had a high fever. The doctors didn’t know what the cause was.  While she was sick she had visions. When she got better, she had a strong desire to care about other people.

Therese believed that you can honor God by whatever you do – even little things or small acts — as long as you do them with love.  Therese’s way of living and doing God’s will was called the “Little Way.”

[The children in the classroom are organized into three groups. Each teacher aid and his/her group is given a Worksheet by the class teacher. The teacher aid is instructed to discuss the situation Therese finds herself — as indicated on the worksheet — and ask the children how they think Therese should respond. The teacher aid in each group will use Jane (as Therese) to present to the whole class how Therese would respond to each situation she found herself in.]

___________________________________

Worksheet One/Group One.

Jimmy was the class bully. One day during school lunch, Therese heard Jimmy tell his classmate Tommy to give him his lunch. Therese was sitting near by. She knew that it was wrong for Jimmy to bully Tommy.

What do you think Tommy should have done?

What do you think Therese did or said?

Hints or Helpful questions:

Should Tommy give his lunch to Jimmy?

Should Tommy get up from the table and tell a teacher about being bullied by Jimmy?

Should Therese say anything to Jimmy?

Should Therese tell a teacher or her parents about what she saw?

What might Therese have said to Tommy after lunch?

____________________________________

Worksheet Two/Group Two.

Therese was shopping with her mother at the clothes store. At the same store, Therese saw her friend Sally roll up a new T-shirt and put it into her pocket without paying for it.

What do you think Therese did at the store?

What do you think Therese said to Sally the next day when she met Sally in school?

Hints or Helpful questions:

Should Therese tell her mom what she saw?

Should Therese tell the store manager what Sally just did?

What should Therese tell her friend Sally about stealing?

____________________________________

Worksheet Three/Group Three.

At home one day, Therese heard her mother ask her sister Anna if she had done her homework. Her sister aid yes, she had done her homework. But Therese knew her sister had not done her homework and that her sister just lied to her mother.

What do you think Therese did?

What do you think Therese said to her sister?

Hints or Helpful questions:

Should Therese tell her mother that her sister Anna lied?

Should Therese not tell anyone about her sister lying and keep it a secret?

What might Therese tell her sister about lying that would stop her from lying in the future?

Note: Therese entered a convent at the age of 15. She wrote 3 books that explained her “Little Way.” She died at the age of 24 from Tuberculosis. She was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1925 and became St. Therese.

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