Children's Readings

Small Things That Make A Big Difference

Opening Questions: When was the last time you had a good time with your friends, when you did not watch television or spend money? What happened?

First Reading: 2 Kings 4:42-44

Once there was a poor little boy who had one, favorite toy: a wood train engine. He would play with that wood train engine for hours. His mother and father would smile every time they saw him with the engine, because they knew the boy was happy with what he had.

One day, a friend came to visit the poor boy. The poor boy was so happy to see his friend. Immediately, the poor boy brought out the wood train engine to share. The two friends played and played with that wood train engine for hours. The fun that the boy had alone, now was fun they shared. Sharing that wood engine was the poor boy's way of saying "thank you" to his friend for his visit.

As a way to say thank you, the man brought Elisha 20 loaves of bread. But, Elisha wanted to share the bread with the people. The small amount of food Elisha shared was enough for the people. There was even some left over!

Like the poor boy who shared his small train engine with his friend, sometimes the little things we share give us much greater fun and joy and happiness than we expect. This good time is God's gift to us.

Bridging Question: How many of you have had such a busy day that you did not have fun? What happened?

Gospel: John 6:1-15

Reader 1:

During the springtime, Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee. After he departed the boat, Jesus climbed a hill and sat with his followers to teach them. A large crowd followed him because they saw the ways he healed the sick. When Jesus looked around and saw the crowd, he asked Phillip, "Where can we buy all these people bread to eat?" Jesus asked the question to test Phillip's faith, since he already knew what he was going to do next.

Reader 2:

"Two hundred silver coins would only buy enough bread to give each person a little to eat," Phillip answered. Then Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, spoke up, "Here's a small boy with five barley rolls and two dried fish in a basket. But how can this food feed all these people?"

Reader 1:

"Have everyone sit down," Jesus replied. There was a large grass area on the hillside for the five thousand men who were gathered together. Then, Jesus took the bread, said the blessing, and gave it to the people. He did the same thing with the small fish until everyone had their fill. When the crowd finished eating, Jesus told his followers to gather the leftovers so none of the food would be wasted. When they gathered the food together, they filled twelve baskets with leftover bread no one wanted.

Reader 2:

Seeing what Jesus just did, the men in the crowd began to say, "This is the prophet God promised us!" But, Jesus knew they were about to take him and make him king. So, he escaped into the hill country to be alone.

One day, the poor boy's parents received a letter from a lawyer. The letter informed his parents that they had just inherited two hundred million dollars from an aunt. The poor boy's family was now rich; the boy could now afford any toys he wanted. It didn't take long before the boy wanted them all!

One day, the boy's friend came over to see him. But instead of the wood train engine, the boy brought out video games, movies, computer games, skateboards, roller hockey, and so many other things that the boys lost count. The two went from activity to activity so fast they didn't have time to think.

At the end of the day after the friend went home, the boy was putting his toys away. Suddenly, he found his old wood train engine and he stopped and thought: "I used to play with this toy for hours and I had so much fun with it. Today, I played with so much stuff I'm not sure I enjoyed any of it." So, the boy began to play with his wood toy engine and got lost in his imagination.

In today's gospel, a boy brings Jesus a small basket of bread and fish. Jesus blessed it and gave it to the people. There was so much food left over that it filled twelve large baskets!

Sometimes, the small things are the most important. Sometimes, a small hug from mom or dad is better than making the honor roll at school. Sometimes, the short time you share with a friend gives you more memories than seeing that latest summer action movie. Sometimes, the words "I love you" are more important than all the other words in the world. That hug, that short time with a friend, those three words bring more joy and happiness than all honor rolls or action movies or words in the universe. Like the small basket of food, the small things make all the difference in the world.

Reflection Question: What small thing can you share to make a difference with others?