Jesus teaches his disciples how to handle disagreements and talks about the power of coming together in prayer. We also see how Jesus gives His disciples the authority to forgive sins.
Lord Jesus, we know that at this moment you are here with us.
As brothers and sisters in God's family, we ask you to listen to and answer the prayers we bring before you today (ask the kids to say their intentions here).
Source: THE COMPLETE CHILDREN'S LITURGY BOOK (THOMPSON, 1996)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.
If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.
If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you,
so that every fact may be established on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church.
If he refuses to listen even to the church,
then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.
Amen, I say to you,
whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven,
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Again, amen, I say to you,
if two of you agree on earth
about anything for which they are to pray,
it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them.”
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cz1kTokPmYY (Credit to Catholic Kids Media)
Ask the kids to summarize the steps that Jesus outlines for handling conflict within the Christian community. (Step 1: Talk directly with the person who has offended you. Step 2: If that fails, invite one or two witnesses to join you as you talk with the person who has offended you. Step 3: If the problem is still not resolved, bring the problem to the attention of the church community, which will determine how to resolve the matter.)
Ask the kids to compare these steps with the measures that each person took in the conflicts that they wrote about before reading the Gospel.
Ask: How does your handling of conflict compare to the steps that Jesus proposes? What can we learn about the Christian way to handle conflict from Jesus’ teaching? How can you apply this in your family? with your friends? in your school? (Accept all reasonable answers.)
Say: Prayer is also an important part of handling conflict. Jesus promises that he will guide the decisions of those who pray to him. When we have a problem with another person, we pray that God will help to bring peace to the situation and that God will be with us as we work toward this peace.
Conclude in prayer together for the support to handle the conflicts we face in a Christian manner. Pray together the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis.