Americans don't think highly of immigrants. At least according to a Pew Research poll nearly a decade ago, only 38% of us think immigrants strengthen America. A 2010 Gallup poll showed 4 in 10 Americans have some prejudice against Muslims. But our lesson is about how baptism is for everyone, even for those not of our ethnicity. In fact, as the Second Vatican Council taught, baptism makes us one family, uniting us despite our ethnic differences: Through baptism we are formed in the likeness of Christ. "For in one Spirit we are all baptized into one body" (1 Corinthians 12:12) ...
I am so happy to see you this morning. How are you? (children may respond)
Let's play a game I call “Lost and Found.” Okay? (children respond)
(presenter role plays) Uh, oh, I lost something for today's message. Hmm, I wonder where it could be. It's a box like this. (shows approximate dimensions) (instruct the children to look around the immediate area) (then presenter or child finds it)
Since the Fourth Sunday in Lent has been historically identified as Laetare (Rejoicing Sunday), it is most appropriate that the lessons collectively testify to a theme for which we can rejoice — God saves us by his grace!
In this familiar and well-loved story of the Prodigal Son, I often wonder what happened to the mother of the family. She's totally ignored. So are any daughters. It seems like a completely male stronghold. So much so that I wonder whether perhaps the mother had died some years previously, and that was the cause of much of the unhappiness displayed by both the father and the sons. Or whether the father was such a domineering character that his wife played no real part in family life, but simply bowed her head in compliance with all his wishes, no matter how extreme they were.