About This Lesson Plan on Resurrection
This Are There Pets in Heaven? lesson plan will help youth consider what heaven will be like and who and what might be there.
Are There Pets In Heaven? – A Lesson Plan on Resurrection
Opening Game for Are There Pets In Heaven
Start this lesson plan by playing Animal Sounds. In this game, players use animal sounds to pair up. See the complete instructions here.
Follow up with a few questions:
- Was it easy are difficult to find your partner?
- Who was the best at making their animal sound? The worst?
- What was your favorite animal in the room?
Animals are fun and bring joy to our lives. We especially love our pets. So we might wonder if there are pets in heaven.
Scripture Reading for Lesson Plan on Resurrection
Luke 20:27-38 or Luke 20:27,34-38 (Jesus Talks about Heaven) – the Gospel Reading for the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C
Some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, came forward [and put this question to Jesus, saying,
“Teacher, Moses wrote for us, If someone’s brother dies leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother.
Now there were seven brothers; the first married a woman but died childless. Then the second and the third married her, and likewise all the seven died childless. Finally the woman also died. Now at the resurrection whose wife will that woman be? For all seven had been married to her.”]
Jesus said to them, “The children of this age marry and remarry; but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age and to the resurrection of the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. They can no longer die, for they are like angels; and they are the children of God because they are the ones who will rise.
That the dead will rise even Moses made known in the passage about the bush, when he called out ‘Lord, ‘ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.”Luke 20:27-38 or Luke 20:27,34-38
Discussion for the Are There Pets in Heaven? Lesson Plan
Close you eyes and imagine heaven. Use your senses. Think about what you see. What do you hear? Are there things there to smell and taste? Reach out and feels something. Think about the sensations for a moment.
Open your eyes again. We all have our personal images of heaven. If time allows, let the youth tell about their image of heaven. We might expect to see loved ones there, dogs or cats we have had as pets, our favorite foods, and other such things.
In today’s gospel, Jesus tells us that heaven might not be what we expect. The Sadducees were trying to trip him up with a question about a very specific experience in the resurrection. But our Lord indicates that heaven is not going to be just like the world we live in. We must be open to something different, something new.
One question people often ask is if there are pets in heaven. While this is an interesting thing to think about, it points to a thinking that the purpose of heaven is to make us happy. But what is important in heaven is our union with God. That is what will make us happy.
This video from Fr. Mike Schmitz gives a good explanation:
So we can become focused on what we expect our own personal experience in heaven to be. But if we are not completely focused on the joy of being united with God, to the point which nothing else matters, then we are not ready for heaven.
So it is OK to ask if there are pets in heaven, but if we think we can’t be happy without them, then we have missed the point. God is all we need, our everything.
Reflection Questions for the Are There Pets in Heaven? Lesson Plan
- When I think of my image of heaven, is there anything in it which I feel that I really need to be happy?
- Are any of those things unhealthy attachments?
- How can I become more focused on God and less focused on my own wants?
Challenge for this Resurrection Lesson Plan
This week, go back to your image of heaven in prayer. Thank God for the wonderful things you imagine there, and then offer them back to him, one at a time. Tell him that you trust you can be happy without each thing, if only you are with him.
If some things are too difficult to offer back, then ask God for the grace to begin letting go. Be kind to yourself when you do this and remember that God loves that find such pleasure in the the people and things he has created.
Prayer for the Lesson Plan on Resurrection
Close by praying the Suscipe prayer – Take Lord, Receive.
Suscipe Prayer (Take Lord Receive Prayer)
This prayer was written by St. Ignatius of Loyola. It reflects his belief that all we have is given to us to serve and reverence God. Therefore, we should not hold on to tightly to our wealth, our health, situation in life, etc. We must be willing to offer everything back to God for Him to use as he wills.
Will My Pet Be In Heaven (Video)
The question addressed in this video runs much deeper than the cartoon classic All Dogs Go to Heaven. Fr. Mike ventures into the theology of the matter, even taking some words of wisdom from St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Paul—who says in Romans 8, that creation will “share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.”
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