Begin with a few moments of quiet.
Invite all present to sit comfortably.
When sitting comfortably, take three deep breaths, as you breathe in feel your lungs filling all the way up, when they are full slowly release your breath and feel your lungs emptying out fully. Repeat this three times.
Now return to breathing normally.
Opening ourselves to the Presence of God in our lives
Have a conversation, allowing each person present a few moments to think about and to reply to the following.
Thinking back over the week, let us share with one another
What is it that I want to say thank you for?
What is it that want to say I am sorry for?
Use a piece of quietening music to help come into a space of prayer
Now begin with the following prayer:
Thank you that we can celebrate Jesus
Thank you for all He did for us
And all that He continues to do
Help us to trust in you
Even when we don’t understand what’s happening
We know you work things for good
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Introduce the Gospel
Today is the feast of Corpus Christi
What would happen if we had no food? Or anything to drink? Together they keep us alive, and without their life giving nourishment we would die. Jesus is the bread of life who shares himself with us in a special way during Mass. Today we hear how Jesus explained that his body and blood are the eucharist (the bread and wine) that we receive at mass.
Read the Gospel John 6:51-58
I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh. I will give my flesh so that the people in the world may have life.”
Then the Jews began to argue among themselves. They said, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth. You must eat the flesh of the Son of Man. And you must drink his blood. If you don’t do this, then you won’t have real life in you. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life. I will raise him up on the last day. My flesh is true food. My blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me, and I live in him. The Father sent me. The Father lives, and I live because of the Father. So he who eats me will live because of me. I am not like the bread our ancestors ate. They ate that bread, but still they died. I am the bread that came down from heaven. He who eats this bread will live forever.”
Have a Conversation about the Gospel
What do we remember from today’s Gospel?
Today Jesus tells us that he is the living bread which has come down from heaven. That anyone who eats this bread will live forever.
He goes on to say that the bread he gives is his flesh, and that whoever eats his flesh and drinks his blood lives in him and he lives in them.
What do you think this means? We can’t eat Jesus can we?
Every time we come to Mass, the bread and wine are changed into the body and blood of Jesus. And we come to share in it, even if we only have a blessing, welcoming Jesus into our lives.
With older children who have made their First Holy Communion, you could talk more about the significance of the Eucharist, about memories of their First Communion, at this point.
For younger ones, we have chosen to focus more on the importance of bread around the world.
Why do you think Jesus chose to talk about bread?
Bread is a very important food. It is a basic food eaten by people all over the world. It is an everyday food that all Jesus’ listeners would have recognised and understood.
When was the last time you had some bread? How often do you eat bread? Every day, once a week or just on special occasions?
How many different types of bread can you name? (eg. brown, white, baguette, pitta, naan, chapati, tortilla, rolls etc). How many different types of bread have you tried?
Bread is very important in the lives of many people around the world today. In fact, it can be life-changing.
Watch this short video about the Gospel:
End with a prayer
Dear Father in Heaven, thank you for your kindness.
Thank you for giving us your Son to show us how to hive.
Help us to be kind like you. Amen.
And here is a song you might like about Jesus, the Bread of Life
Here are some activities you might like to complete during the coming week as a reminder of this Gospel today.
Other Activities and puzzles