3. Feb, 2018

Preparing for Easter: Ash Wednesday

Lenten homily for kids (of every age)

We’re here to prepare for a big event called Easter! What do you do before a big event? What would you do before a sports carnival or a maths test? …Prepare yourselves by going to training or doing homework!

Now, Easter is coming up and we need to do some training! How would we do that? Is there some preparation Jesus might want us to do? What about preparing ourselves for Easter by eating Easter eggs? Is that what Jesus really wants us to do?

Okay, here’s a tip. Easter is about God’s love. It an event of the heart so we must prepare them to make sure they are healthy, strong, and full of God’s love. We are going to have do some love training, oh boy!

In the Gospel Jesus gave us three training methods to make sure our hearts are fit, and full of love. Can anyone remember the three things Jesus asked us to do to prepare our hearts for Easter? Giving was one, the second was praying, and the third was fasting.

God sees into our hearts to see if we are doing this properly, and not just to make us look good in front of others. Look at me, I’m so great because I’m praying and I’m better than you! God doesn’t like that. What God likes is that when we do things, we do them out of love – love for God and love for each other.

There are many ways we can give, pray, and fast. But here are my tips for Lent. Pray as much as you can, and with simple words like ‘Jesus I love you.’ You can do this when you get out of bed, when you get into bed – and any time in between! Praying is easy, just tell God how much you love him and as often as you can.

Giving. In addition to helping others and giving to Project Compassion I would like you to make a special effort to give the truth. Pope Francis has asked us to communicate the truth to each other, and this is a great way of giving: I give you the truth! And the truth we want to give is the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So, when you tell mum that the reason you were fighting with your brother was because he hit me first you must also tell mum that you were teasing him and that is why he hit you – because you were being mean.

To give or tell the truth is a great way to train your heart in what love really is about. It helps us open-up to each other; to love and forgive each other.   

Fasting. We can abstain from many things from watching TV to eating food. What I want you to do is to abstain from lying. This should make sense as lying is an effort to hide the truth.   

We are beginning training today. We call this time Lent which lasts until Easter which is what we are preparing for. Because Easter is about God’s love we want to prepare our hearts to make sure they are healthy, strong, and full of God’s love. We have a plan. In this time of training we are going pray like crazy; we are going to give the whole truth and nothing but the truth; and we are going to fast from telling lies.

To show that we are preparing our hearts we are now going to receive ashes on our foreheads.