An “All School Mass” Sermon for Grade Schoolers

(A reflection for people from first to eighth grade. After taking to an eighth grader at the end of a class I taught, he dared me to include saying, “rocking chair” in a sermon. I met his challenge.)

Group-portrait-of-elementary-school-kids-in-school-corridorIt’s interesting, you can take almost anything about our culture and say the opposite and then be right with the Catholic Church. Let’s try a few. Take something from our U.S. culture and find its contradiction (its truth) in our Christian faith.

The Kingdom of Heaven isn’t some gilded, gold mansion but a small, dark barn with a manger to hold the Christ child while he sleeps.

The Kingdom of Heaven isn’t some far place in the sky where you end up when you die, but it’s in every, single classroom, lunchroom, playground, the gym here at Christ King parish.

The gift of wisdom is not passed on to you by your smart parents, it’s slowly learned through life experiences to include integrity, dignity, and authenticity. (Three words your teachers can tell you more about.) Integrity, dignity and authenticity.

The Christ child was not born at a Motel 6 because they forgot to leave the light on…but placed in a place where the animals eat their hay and wheat.

The Kingdom of Heaven isn’t a reward, but it’s the fulfillment of a meaningful life lived as much as possible right here and now.

Eating the Body of Christ isn’t a prize or award for being good, but it is the food that leads us to goodness.

Getting angry with a brother or sister isn’t getting even, but it’s a warning bell ringing out for God’s forgiveness.

Being calm doesn’t mean a trip to the Wisconsin Dells, but it does mean being calm and resting in a rocking chair with a good book, a sleeping baby or a purring cat. (Got him!)

The Kingdom of Heaven isn’t some gilded, gold mansion but it’s thanking the crossing guard for getting you safely to the next block.

I was let go from my job working with older adults after 22 years or did the Holy Spirit want me to talk to you young people this early morning at Christ King parish?

Jesus wasn’t born from a beautiful princess with wealth beyond imagination but to a 13 or 16-year-old young girl who becomes God’s Mom.

Jesus wasn’t famous because he starred in a movie or married a famous Kardashian but his fame was in his words, his attitude, his love for his Father and in a terrible thief’s death for our salvation.

Wealth and wisdom make you special and famous but wealth isn’t about money but the worth of your personal life and intelligence isn’t about being smart, but it’s taking what you’ve learned and experienced and applying it to your daily life.

Young people are the future of the Church our culture tells us when truly you are the Church right now, as much as I am, in this time and place.

The Kingdom of Heaven isn’t some gilded, gold mansion but it is a manger in a dark barn where spiritual food is served every day of our lives – the Body of Christ – from an infant whose mother said of his birth, “Yes” to an angel who said to her, “Do not be afraid.”

Books by Fr. Joe Jagodensky, SDS. All available on
“Soulful Muse,”
inspirational reflections on the Catholic Church and U.S. culture
Living Faith’s Mysteries,”
inspirational reflections on the Christian seasons
of Advent/Christmas & Lent/Easter – a great seasonal gift
“Spiritual Wonderings and Wanderings,”
inspirational reflections on the Catholic Church and U.S. culture
“Letters From My Cats,”
a collection of letters written by my cats over twenty years
“Bowling Through Life’s Stages with a Christian perspective,”
Bowling as a metaphor for religion and growing up





About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
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1 Response to An “All School Mass” Sermon for Grade Schoolers

  1. Maureen Danforth says:

    I DO believe the Holy Spirit wants you talking to young people at Christ King AND St. Bernard’s (Wauwatosa Catholic School). Lots to learn for all concerned 🙂


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