Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, Junior High

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Junior High Session
Amos 7:12-15
Mark 6:7-13

Opening Prayer

O God,
You call us by name and send us forth to spread your love.
Help us to remain true to our call.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Opening Life Reflection
The main theme for today is Election and Mission. To begin invite the young people to write a short, one page reflection on their dreams for the future. Provide blank sheets of paper and pencils. Invite volunteers to share their reflections with the large group. Discuss:

• How can you work toward your future dreams?
• Who are the people that help prepare you to go out into the world?
• What part will you play in creating a better world?

Allow time for discussion. As baptized Christians, we are chosen by God to live holy and fruitful lives.

Listening to the Word of God
In the first reading from the Old Testament listen to how Amos obeys God's call.

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

Scripture Discussion Starters

• How is Amos called by God?
• What does Amaziah remind Amos about Bethel?
• How does Amos obey God's call?

In today's gospel listen to find out how Jesus sends the twelve disciples out into the world?

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

• How does Jesus send the twelve disciples out into the world?
• What does Jesus command them to do?
• How do the disciples continue Jesus' mission on earth?

Scripture Background

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

In today's 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 the Church throughout time 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
• How are you called to bring God's message to others?
• Why do some people resist God's call?
• How are you called and sent to continue the work of Jesus on earth?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starter
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 with 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.

• What is the responsibility of people chosen by God?
• How can Christians show the world God's saving love?
• What are some ways that you bear fruit as a follower of Christ?

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 they are called to live as children of light in the world.

The Gospel in Life
How can you bring the light of God's love to others this week?

Posted in: Sessions B