Children's Readings

Sharing With Others

Opening Question: Have you ever shared your lunch with someone? What happened?

First Reading: 1 Kings 17:10-16

Bobby was starving. He forgot to take his lunch to school. And he was too embarrassed to ask anyone for something to eat. So, he sat alone while his classmates talked about many exciting things.

"Can I sit here?" a voice asked. It was Tom, one of Bobby's better friends. Tom didn't wait for an answer. He just sat down and opened his lunch bag. He had a sandwich, an apple, a juice box, and cookies for dessert. "What's going on?" Tom inquired.

Before he could say anything, Bobbie's stomach answered for him. Without even thinking about it, he put his right arm over his stomach to quiet the noise. But the look on his face told Tom everything.

"Hungry?" Tom said. "Here's half my sandwich. And the cookies."

"But, you'll get hungry!" Bobby objected. "Besides, you like cookies. These are your mom's special peanut butter oatmeal cookies."

Tom said nothing and pushed the food toward Bobbie. Bobbie sighed. His hunger overcame his pride. He took one bite into the sandwich. Then two more in rapid succession. "Thanks," Bobbie said with a mouth full of food.

"You're welcome,"Tom replied with a big smile.

Sharing food is a good way to make a friendship grow stronger. Especially with someone who needs the food. The day the widow shared the little food she had with Elijah, she made a good friend. Not only with the prophet, but with God. Through Elijah, God promised the widow she would not die. The little she had would be enough for her and her son.

God wants to be our friend. We can be his friend when we share, especially with those who are hungry or needy. God wants us to care for each other.

Bridging Question: Sacrifice means to give up something for someone else. Who has sacrificed something for you?

Gospel: Mark 12:38-44

Reader 1:

As Jesus taught the people in the Temple, he said, "Look out for the scribes! They like to walk around in fancy clothes and have people greet them on the street. They like to sit up front, facing the people when they are worshiping God. And they like to sit right next to the host at fancy dinners, so everyone can see them. They destroy the lives of poor widows, while they puff themselves up saying long prayers. God will give a harsher judgement to these men!"

Reader 2:

Jesus sat near one of the collection boxes for the Temple. And he was watching how everyone threw their coins into the box. Taking their time, many rich people threw in coin after coin after coin. Then, a poor widow came and threw in two coins that weren't worth very much.

Reader 1:

At that, Jesus called his followers together. "Hey, everyone! Listen!" Jesus said. "That poor widow put in more than everyone else put together! For everyone else put in money that they didn't need to live on. But this woman threw in all everything she had, even the money she desperately needed for food."

Jillian, Rebecca, Deanna stood in the ticket line for the movie theater at the mall. The three friends had planned for this day. They had saved for this movie. A romantic comedy. The chatting among the three girls was constant and joyful. They all had high expectations for the movie experience.

Out the corner of Deanna's eye, she could see Betty. Unlike the three girls who dressed in the latest fashion, Betty always dressed plainly. Betty was short and a little overweight. The three girls were trim and pretty. Her long stringy hair framed her pale complexion and large glasses. Of the three friends, Rebecca wore contacts. Everyone at school knew Betty lived a small apartment. And the rumors were spreading that Betty's father lost his job.

"Look who's here," Deanna whispered as she nudged the others and pointed to Betty. Rebecca turned and glared at the girl behind them. Betty turned her head so she wouldn't see Rebecca's cold stare. Rebecca and Deanna whispered and giggled, pointing occasionally at the unpopular girl with the large glasses. Jillian stood back and remained silent.

When the three girls approached the ticket window and ordered the tickets, they pooled their money together. "$15.75, please," the man at the ticket window said. Rebecca realized she had a one dollar bill instead of the five-dollar bill she thought she was carrying. Suddenly, the girls realized they were a dime short.

Deanna shoved the money toward the man at the window. "Come on! Give us the tickets," Deanna demanded. But, when the man realized they didn't have enough money, he shook his head. They only had enough money for two tickets. And that was that.

Everyone could see the disappointment in the girls' eyes. Suddenly, a hand reached from behind and placed a dime on the ticket booth counter. As the girls turned, they saw Betty walking away. In an instant, all three knew who gave them the extra money.

"Great!" Rebecca said. "Now we have enough money for tickets!" She began to shove the money to the man at the ticket counter.

"Wait," Jillian said in a low voice. "I've changed my mind. You two go in. I'll see you later."

Deanna and Rebecca stood speechless as Jillian ran to catch up with Betty. "Thank you," Jillian said to Betty as she pressed the dime back into the plain girl's hand. "Do you want to go to the movie with me tomorrow?"

Betty smiled. She felt she had just made a new friend.

Sometimes a small sacrifice for one person is a huge one for another person. For the three girls, a dime was nothing more than a small, shiny coin. For Betty, the dime meant a lot of saving. And it was a huge thing to give up. Like Betty, the poor woman gave up something she had to save for. A few small coins worth less than a penny. But her small gift, her huge sacrifice impressed Jesus. Here was someone, like Betty, who was willing to give up the little she had for the good of others.

We should do the same.

Closing Question: What little things can we give up for the good of others?