Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year A, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session

Acts 2:14, 36-41
John 10:1-10

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Lord Jesus, you are our Shepherd and we are your flock.
Help us to hear and know your voice.
Amen.

 

Opening Life Reflection

The theme for today is Jesus, the Good Shepherd. To begin invite the children to reflect on what it is like to care for a pet. Have the children form small groups of three or four and share within their group what pet they have or what pet they would like to have. Provide paper and pencils and have them list everything that they do or would do to care for their pet. Invite each group to share their list with the large group. Discuss:

  • How do most people care for their pets?
  • How does a shepherd care for his sheep?
  • Why is “The Good Shepherd” a good title for Jesus?

Allow time for discussion. The image of the good shepherd helps us to learn about God’s unending love. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for his flock.

 

Listen to the Word of God

In the first reading from Acts of the Apostles listen to Peter help others come to know and follow Jesus.

Read Acts 2:14, 36-41.

Allow for silence.

 

Scripture Discussion Starters

  • How does Peter help others come to know Jesus?
  • What question do the people ask?
  • How does Peter answer their question?

In the gospel listen to how Jesus describes himself as a good shepherd.

Read John 10:1-10.

Allow for silence.

  • How does Jesus describe himself?
  • What does Jesus say about hearing his voice?
  • What does Jesus offer those who follow him?

 

Scripture Background

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

Today’s first reading from Acts is taken from Peter’s sermon on the day that the Holy Spirit is poured out on the disciples. Peter spreads the word that Jesus is Lord and Messiah. Some of the crowd is struck by Peter’s Spirit-filled testimony, and they ask, “What are we to do?” Peter says they must believe and be baptized. Many accepted Peter’s message and the community of Christians grew rapidly. In this reading we see that when the good news is proclaimed it demands a response from listeners.

Today’s gospel makes clear that believers are to trust in Jesus Christ alone, the true shepherd. The imagery of shepherd and sheep found in today’s gospel relies on an understanding of the shepherding practices of the time. In first century Palestine, the shepherd knew each one of his sheep and protected them. The sheep recognized the shepherd’s voice and responded to no other when called. In those days, the shepherd would walk in front of the sheep and lead them.

In this Gospel passage, the description of Jesus as shepherd tells how he protects and cares for his followers by laying down his life for them. Jesus the good shepherd offers his followers a close relationship that brings life.

 

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • How is Jesus like a good shepherd?
  • How does Jesus care for his flock?
  • How can we listen for Jesus’ voice?

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

 

Doctrinal Discussion Starters

Jesus, the Good Shepherd

Jesus reveals who God is for us. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, helps us to know about God’s unending love. In the Scriptures, the Good Shepherd is the leader who lays down his life for his flock. He is a caring companion who protects his sheep. The sheep recognize the good shepherd’s voice and they follow him. Jesus had all these qualities and even gave his life for us.

We are members of God’s flock, the Church. We put our faith and trust in God because God loves us and will always care for us.

  • How does the image of good shepherd help us understand God’s unending love for us?
  • How are we members of Jesus’ flock?
  • How do we live as followers of Jesus?

 

The Gospel in Life

How can you show others that Jesus is your shepherd this week?

Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition

At Home Family Guide, theme 27
Grade 4, page 273 parish and page 377 school and chapter 6
Grade 5, page 273 parish and page 377 school and chapter 6
Grade 6, page 273 parish and page 377 school and chapter 5

Posted in: Sessions A