The reading is taken from Mark. We do not read about the betrayal of Judas with the children. At this tender age the lesson is in the words that Jesus spoke: "This is my body, this is my blood." This is the first time Jesus spoke these words that we hear each and every Sunday during our special meal, the Mass. During the Cenacle presentation we draw attention to the special meal Jesus was sharing with his disciples, the Passover Meal.
As the children work with this material, we hope they begin to realize that the table is set in the same way as the altar work they so love. That what they are seeing is the same as they see each week during Mass.
We do not comment on this sameness. We allow the children to come to these realizations on their own as they are prepared to receive the gift of this special sight. All in the time of the Holy Spirit.
What I found interesting today were some comments and actions of the children. To begin with, class started late due to the length of the Palm Sunday Mass. I brought the children into the atrium in a silent procession which means they waited outside the classroom until everyone was gathered. For some it was a lengthy wait.
For some of our children, sitting and listening is a difficult task. It was a somewhat noisy presentation. We talked about the three cities that were important in Jesus' life (Nazareth, Bethlehem and Jerusalem) and that this story took place in Jerusalem. I explained about the special meal of the Passover quickly and asked them to listen for the words Jesus spoke to his special friends, the disciples. We remembered other words Jesus spoke (I am the light, I am the Good Shepherd).
Reading the words directly from the Bible is a challenge for many of the children. However, when I brought out the materials you see above, and began moving the disciples slowly into the upper room, the children became entranced.
After reading the part that states Jesus and the disciples sang a hymn and then went into the garden I slowly move each of the 13 figures out of the Cenacle and onto a piece of green paper to represent the garden.
It was at this point that one child whispered, "Why is Jesus gong first?" A friend replied (in a whisper), "Because he is Jesus. He can do what he wants." Yet another child responded by saying, "Jesus always leads his friends."
From the mouths of babes.
May we all be childlike in our responses this Easter. May your Easter be a blessed one.