BACKGROUND: Eating dinner with your family is an important time of day to catch up with your parents and siblings. It is a time to share about your day at school as well as listen to each other. It is a time to discuss activities your family might be planning to do as well as things that are important to you as a family. It is also a time to pray and to remember those that might not feel welcomed at the table: they may be homeless and have nowhere to eat, they may be a refugee in another country fleeing famine and war and have no place to go, they may be a person in society who others see as different and ignore when they pass by, or they may be the boy or girl at school who sits alone at lunch. As we think about the people in our world who may not feel welcomed at the table, we remember how we are called to act as Jesus would by inviting those who feel left out of society and are struggling to join us and to make room for them- all are welcome!
ACTIVITY: Develop a prayer with your classroom that welcomes all to the table or use the prayer we have written below. Make copies or have students write it down, design a poster or make their own prayer card. Then ask each student to take this prayer home and pray it with his or her family at the dinner table. Encourage them to discuss what this means as a family and how they will work to welcome all.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, you have entrusted to us your great mission
of spreading love, justice and compassion throughout the whole world.
You have called us to follow Jesus, to walk as he did, to live as he did,
to welcome the stranger, the sinner, those who are left out,
to open our minds and hearts
so that the voiceless can be heard, the hungry fed and the abandoned found.
Your table is one of plenty.
May we recognize the need to share the abundant gifts You provide by welcoming all to the