Body and Blood of Christ
Opening Question: What was the best birthday party you have ever gone to? Why was it special? Why do we have birthday parties?
First Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Birthday parties are special. We remember the birth of a brother or sister, a mom or dad, a close friend or next door neighbor. But we do not remember their birth in our heads. We remember it with a celebration. We gather everyone together, give gifts, sing songs, and eat special foods. These people are special to us, and we want them to know it.
When Jesus says, "Remember me" in today's reading, he wants us to celebrate. Like a birthday, we gather together, sing songs, and eat special foods: bread and wine. And, like a birthday, we celebrate the new birth of a person who is with us. The person is Jesus. The new birth is his resurrection from the dead.
When we receive Communion, we receive the risen Jesus. He is with us because he is inside us. This is our way of remembering Jesus.
Bridging Questions: How many families have bread making machines at home? What do you like about the bread such a machine makes?
Gospel: Mark 14:12-16, 22-26
On the first day of the Passover festival, Jesus' followers asked him, "Where do you want us to go and prepare the Passover meal for you?"
Jesus sent two of them with these instructions: "Go into Jerusalem. There, you will meet a man carrying a pot full of water. Follow him. Whatever house he enters, say to the owner:
'Our teacher wants to know what room he can use to celebrate the Passover meal with his followers.'
He will take you upstairs and show you a large room ready for us to use. Prepare the meal there."
The two followers left the others and entered Jerusalem. They found everything just as Jesus told them and they got the meal ready.
While they celebrated the meal, Jesus took bread and blessed God for it. Then, he broke the bread into pieces, gave it to his followers, and said, "Take it. This is my body." After he took the cup in his hands and blessed God for the wine, Jesus passed the cup to everyone and they all took a drink. "This is my blood of the covenant God makes with us," Jesus stated. "It will be poured out for many people. Listen!" Jesus continued. "I will not drink any wine again until that day I drink it anew in God's Kingdom!" After they sang a few songs, Jesus and his followers went out of the city to the Mount of Olives.
Fresh bread. Break open and eat a warm piece of bread with butter and jelly. Aren't you getting hungry?
Jesus is like that fresh bread. He gives us warm food that tastes good and gives us life. Life forever now and in heaven. Jesus is the bread we eat and the wine we drink. He is with us and we are with him.
1. Take a loaf of fresh bread. Break it up and share it with the children who have not received First Eucharist. As they eat the bread have them form one body. Point out to them that they are now the loaf. Tell the other children that they will form one loaf when they receive Communion.
2. Tell a story about a hungry, poor boy who steals a loaf of bread to feed his family. He is willing to risk everything for his family: jail or a beating. What would he do if he got caught? Would it be worth the risk? Why or why not?
3. Hand out a sign designed with a birthday gift that states: "Jesus says: 'Remember me.'"