This lesson focuses on the Kingdom of God and virtues to allow students to ponder how we are called to create the Kingdom of God using virtues. It contains a Scripture reading and analysis segment, a dynamic activity based on the creation of class poster in which students commit to doing an act of virtue, and a fun meaningful game.
Kingdom of God
Say the Our Father together. Print a class poster of the prayer if you need a visual aid for the students who do not know it completely.
Lead a discussion by using these prompts:
- What is the 3rd line of the Our Father?…………...[Thy Kingdom Come]
Write the words “Thy Kingdom Come” on the whiteboard.
- What do these words mean? ……………[answers will vary]
- What kind of Kingdom should be coming?……………[The Kingdom God wants us to build]
- What should this Kingdom look like?……………[full of love, peace, happiness, no crime, no evil]
- Will we only experience the Kingdom of God when we die?…………...[no, we are called to make it happen now! It can be here and now]
Parables About the Kingdom of God
Give background information by explaining these key concepts to students:
Jesus refers to the Kingdom of God in 7 short parables of the Bible
- They all begin with a phrase “the Kingdom of heaven is like”….
- Each parable has a different context full of reference to items or elements of Jesus’ day–for example:
- a farmer,
- a gardener,
- a cook
- a treasure seeker,
- a merchant
- a fisherman, …
- But the theme is the same. God has sown His message and the Devil has sown his. It’s up to us to decide which one will take root in our heart.
Preview the Parable of the Weeds which will be read together:
Explain these points before reading the parable:
- The enemy is the devil and he sows the bad seeds that produce weeds.
- The good seeds are the people who work to create the kingdom of God on earth.
Scripture: The Parable of the Weeds [Matthew 13: 24-30]
Read together the parable from Bibles:
24 He proposed another parable to them. “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. 26 When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. 27 The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’ 28 He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29 He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. 30 Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”Matthew 13: 24-30 New American Bible Revised Addition
Discuss Scripture Graphically:
Retell the story interactively together by using the white board to sketch out the parable as you retell the story with the help of the class.
If you have a projector, use this Google slides version:
Discuss the Parable’s meaning in depth by using these discussion questions:
- Who’s sowing the good seeds and who are the good seeds?……………[Jesus the Son of God; people who live according to the Gospel]
- Who’s sowing the bad seeds and who are the bad seeds?……………..[the devil; people who do not live their life full of love, the Commandments, the Beatitudes]
- What is the meaning of keeping the weeds in the field along side the wheat?…………..[we can’t discern or judge who exactly is living the Gospel as a good seed; judgement should be left to God]
- What does the harvest represent?……………[the end of life]
- The parable forces us to answer if we are wheat or weed. How do you know which you are?…………[answers will vary]
Activity: Create a Faith, Hope, and Charity Poster
Introduce the connection of virtues to the parable:
Jesus tells us in the parable that we create the Kingdom by being good seeds. He has given us the gifts of virtues to help us be “good seeds.” A virtue comes from God as a free gift. We are called to use our gifts of virtues everyday
Discuss the concept of a virtues using these prompts:
- What is a virtue?……………[a good habit that helps us do good things as God’s wants us to]
- What are the most important virtues?……………[the theological ones: faith, hope, and charity (love)]
- What do they do?……………[they help us create the Kingdom of God on earth]
Review using this table of information the names of the virtues and their symbols:
- Start by listing the virtues and their symbols (first 2 columns)
- Then ask for the class to name an action that would show that virtue. As students respond, fill in the 3rd column with their ideas. Add some examples given in the table if they are not sharing their own ideas.
|Faith||Cross||Believing in God with whole heart|
Trusting that God will help us when we are sad, lonely or have challenges
Taking comfort in God’s everlasting love for us
|Hope||Anchor||Having full confidence in God’s plan for us|
Hoping in an everlasting union with God in heaven (realizing our lives have meaning)
Praying for everyone to get along and live peacefully
Hoping that everyone will accept each other’s differences
|Charity (Love)||Heart||Helping the poor|
Telling others we love them
Listening to others
Lifting someone’s spirits
Finish making the poster as a class:
See the full post on this activity to make the poster as a class. Easy to use printable templates and poster graphic are available in the post.
As a way to build opportunities for class participation, ask each student to answer this prompt during snack time. Sometimes it is easiest to just go around the room and have each person go in order.
Who do you know that does a lot of acts of Charity? What acts of Charity do this person do?
Game: Faith, Hope, and Charity Clothespin Drop
This fun game reinforces the need to have these 3 virtues in our lives. A series of prompts are asked in which players have to figure out which virtue applies to a specific act or thought. Then to earn a point, they must try to drop the clothespin into the jar of the correct answer from the back of a chair.
For directions and supplies, see this post.
Our lesson will focus on discussing how we can create the “Kingdom of God” here on earth by doing acts of virtue. First, we will review the Parable of the Weeds [Matthew: 13: 24-30] in which Jesus said we must create the Kingdom of God by being good seeds. Then we will create a poster to show what acts of faith, hope and charity we can do to create that Kingdom. Look for the poster in the Commons.
• How can we be “good seeds”?
• What is your vision for how people will live when the Kingdom of God is fully created?
• What is one act of charity we can do as a family?
Thank you for the opportunity to teach your child.
Your Child’s Catechist