Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session
Amos 7:12-15
Mark 6:7-13

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Loving God, You have called each of us by name and we are Yours.
Help us to see Your goodness in ourselves and in one another.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Opening Life Reflection

The main theme for today is Election and Mission. To begin, explain to the children that they will have the opportunity to look for the good in one another. Provide blank sheets of white paper and markers. Invite each child to write his or her name on a sheet of blank white paper. Have the children pass their papers around the room. Invite the children to write something "good" on each person's paper. Discuss:

• What is it like to see good remarks around your name?
• Why is it important to see the good in one another?
• What does it mean to be "holy?"

Allow time for discussion. God has called each of us by name. As baptized Christians we are called by God to live good and holy lives.

Listening to the Word of God

In the first reading from the Old Testament listen to find out what Amos is called by God to do.

Read Amos 7:12-15.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

• What is Amos called by God to do?
• What does Amaziah tell Amos?
• How does Amos obey God's call?

In today's gospel listen to find out how the twelve disciples are called and sent?

Read Mark 6:7-13.
Allow for silence.

• How are the twelve disciples sent out into the world?
• What does Jesus tell them to do?
• How do the disciples continue Jesus' work on earth?

Scripture Background

Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the readings using the Catechist Background section.

In this Old Testament reading the prophet Amos meets some resistance in Bethel. Amos' message is unpopular because he warns his wealthy neighbors to the north about living in excess. Amos condemns the elite class, which includes the king. This prompts the priest Amaziah to remind Amos that Bethel "is the king's sanctuary and royal temple." As the king's spokesman, Amaziah orders Amos to return home. Amos makes clear that his sole motive is to obey God's call. He does not care about financial gain. Amos insists that God has chosen him to prophesy to the people of Israel.

In the gospel today, Jesus sends his followers out on a mission to continue his work on earth. The twelve are called and sent out two by two, to preach repentance, cast out demons, and heal the sick. Jesus gives them specific instructions regarding what to take with them, where to stay, and how to deal with rejection.

This gospel reminds us that throughout time the Church is called and sent. Even in the face of resistance, followers of Jesus of every age can be assured that the word and power of the Lord is with them.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

• Why is it hard at times to bring God's message to others?
• Why was it important for Jesus to send his followers out two by two?
• Who continues Jesus' work on earth today?

[If you are not going to continue with the doctrinal discussion, proceed to the Gospel in Life.]

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
Election and Mission
The theme of election runs throughout the Bible in the Old and New Testament. In the Old Testament, God chooses Israel and names this people as his own, beginning with the call of Abraham and extending to Abraham and Sarah's descendants. God remains faithful to the promise made to Abraham. It is God who chooses the people of Israel first out of love, and God pardons the people for their unfaithfulness. In the Old Testament scriptures we find that along with the idea of election comes a responsibility on the part of the people God has chosen.

This theme continues in the New Testament with Jesus Christ. Jesus is shown as the fulfillment of God's plan of salvation. As such, Jesus is the elect one, the anointed one, the Christ, the long-awaited Messiah foretold by the prophets. Early Christians understood themselves to be God's holy and elect people because of the love of God shown to them in Christ. As faithful followers of Jesus, Christians are the new elect made up of people of every nation. Because they are chosen by God, Jesus' followers have a responsibility to live holy and fruitful lives. Followers of Jesus are called to show the world God's saving love in Christ.

* In the Old Testament, who are God's chosen people?
* In the New Testament, who also are shown as God's chosen people?
* How do Christians show the world God's saving love?

Sacrament Connection
In the Sacrament of Baptism, the newly baptized receive a candle that has been lit from the Easter candle. This baptismal candle symbolizes that the person is joined to Christ, the Light of the World, and he/she is called to live as a child of light in the world.

The Gospel in Life
This week tell a friend or family member about a good quality that you see in them.

Posted in: Sessions B