Children's Readings (Cycle C)
WOW Experiences Can Be Good Things
What "WOW" experiences have you had this summer? Gone to a great movie? Gone on a fast roller coaster? How were those experiences good things?
First Reading: 2 Peter 1:16-19
Peter was the leader of the apostles, the men Jesus sent out to teach everyone the Good News. Peter knew Jesus. He was one of Jesus' first followers. He was one of Jesus' closest friends. Peter let Jesus down, but Jesus forgave him and told him to take care of his followers. Peter saw a lot of things Jesus did. He had a lot of WOW experiences with the Lord. When Jesus healed people. When Jesus raised the dead to life.
In this letter Peter wrote, he points out one experience that stood out. On a very high mountain, he saw Jesus change before him. This is what he wrote.
When we told you about the power of our Lord Jesus Christ and his return in glory, we didn't have you chase after some clever story someone made up. We saw his glory in person. God the Great Father gave him honor when he told us, "This is my Son I love. I am very happy with what he is doing." We heard that voice when we were with Jesus on the holy mountain.. We are also sure with the words the prophets spoke about Jesus. You should hold onto those words as if they were a lamp that light up dark. You should hold on to them until the day dawns and the morning star shines in your hearts.
Jesus was like a light in the darkness. A light to guide us. A light to show us the way. When we believe in him, we see the way he points out. We don't see him now, but when we go to heaven, we will always see him the way Peter and his friends saw Jesus on that high mountain top. That will be an incredible WOW experience. One that will never end.
Bridging Question: What good things do we receive from God?
Gospel: Luke 9:28b-36
Jesus took Peter, John, and James along as he climbed the mountain to pray. During his prayer on the mountain, the face of Jesus changed into something never seen before. And his clothes became as white as a lightening flash. Suddenly, Moses and Elijah were talking to Jesus about his death, which would happen in Jerusalem. They appeared as bright as Jesus.
Now, Peter and his companions were really sleepy. But, then, they completely woke up! They saw the glory of Jesus and the two men standing with him. As Moses and Elijah were leaving, Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it's good for us to be here. Let's pitch three tents. One for you. One for Moses. And one for Elijah." But Peter didn't really know what he was talking about.
As Peter spoke, a cloud appeared and cast its shadow over them. They were really afraid when they entered the cloud. Then, a voice called out from the cloud: "This is my Son, the one I chose. Listen to him." After the voice spoke, they only found Jesus there.
The three followers grew very quiet. And, at that time, they didn't tell anyone what they had seen.
Joanie couldn't sleep that night. When she did sleep, she had the strangest dreams. The next morning, one dream kept running over and over in her mind.
In that dream, she was chased by a dog the size of her house. The faster she ran, the closer the dog came. But there was a funny part to the dream. The slower she ran, the slower the dog ran, and the smaller the dog seemed to be. The image just kept bothering her.
"Mom, what does the dream mean?" Joanie asked.
"Have you ever been scared by dogs?" her mother replied.
"Yeah," Joanie said. "I remember when I was little girl, I was scared by the large Doberman do the street. But I remember that when I stood across the street from the dog, I wasn't as scared."
"Now, why do you think you had this dream?" her mom asked. Joanie was silent for a minute; then she said, "I'm unsure about tomorrow's test in English. When I think about too much, I get scared. I think I'll go study for the test." Later that day, she felt comfortable about the test and her fear left her.
Peter, James, and John had a vision of Jesus that felt like a frightening dream. They saw him shining like the sun. They saw Jesus with two people who lived a long time ago. And they heard a voice from the clouds. This vision really shook them up.
Later, things began to make sense. Moses and Elijah represented the Jewish faith. And these two men were talking to Jesus about his coming death. So, everything the Jewish faith said pointed to the death of the Christ.
When Peter, James, and John grew up, the listened to the words of Moses and prophets like Elijah in the Bible. Now, God told the disciples to listen to and trust Jesus. After Jesus died and rose from the dead, the disciples remembered the experience and its lesson. Even though Jesus was gone, they still trusted what he told them. And they still trusted him in their prayers.
Closing Question: We show God we trust him when we pray. What would you like to pray about right now?