Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session
Mark 3:20—35

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Thank you, God, for making each of us in your image.
Help us to always follow you and do what you want us to do.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.

Opening Life Reflection

The theme in the closing verses of the gospel focus on relationships, especially family, and doing the will of God. 

Divide a sheet of paper into two columns.  In one column, list the names of all the members of your family and your extended family.  In the other column, list the good qualities of the family members.  


  • Who might be your favorite family member and why?
  • What are some of the good qualities of family members that you also possess?
  • Give some examples of ways that family members put their good qualities into action.

Allow time for discussion.  We first learn about doing the will of God in our families.  Our families teach us what the will of God is and help us to follow the commands of Jesus. 

Listening to the Word of God

In today’s gospel, listen to what Jesus says to his mother and his relatives. 

Read Mark 3:20-35.
Allow for silence. 

Scripture Discussion Starters

  • Why are the relatives of Jesus concerned about him and come to get him?
  • What does Jesus ask them to do?
  • How do you think Jesusmother might have responded to the answer that Jesus gave them?

Scripture Background

Provide 2—3 minutes of background information on the gospel using the Catechist Background section. 

The theme of family is both at the beginning and the end of the gospel reading.  The message that Jesus was preaching was troubling and upsetting to many people, including his family.  This caused some people to question his sanity, and his family wanted to protect him.  At the end of the gospel passage, Jesus tells them that the strong bonds of relationship with Jesus come first from doing the will of God.  

These verses may also bring up a question concerning the "brothers and sisters" of Jesus.  Explain that the gospel uses a word that refers to any relative or family member, not only a brother or sister.

In the middle section of the gospel, Jesus seems to be saying that the scribes who were criticizing him were not doing the will of God.  Jesus’ response to his relatives may also be a way of saying that some of his family do not really understand his mission and why he was sent.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • What does Jesus' response to his mother and family mean?
  • What do you think doing the will of God means?
  • Do you think that Jesus' response to his family was harsh?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters

Baptism is the first Sacrament we receive, and is the “doorway” to the Christian life.  Through Baptism, Christians “are reborn of the water and the Spirit” (John 3:5).  They enter into a completely new life, that gives them a new and deeper relationship with God.

All people are God’s children, but Baptism makes that connection even more special.  Baptism makes a person a co-heir with Christ in God’s kingdom. The baptized person is an adopted son or daughter of God.  In Baptism we also receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and by which Original Sin and all personal sins are forgiven. 

When God created Adam and Eve, he made a Covenant, a special promise with them, that he would always love and be kind to his people.  Our first parents broke that promise. They sinned. This sin is called Original Sin.  It is in Christ Jesus that we are made again into a new creation and in Christ Jesus we are raised up in love into the intimate communion with God from which we fell. 

Our faith in Jesus and living the commands of Jesus are the bonds of our relationship with God. The Covenant is renewed and we are part of the family of God because we do the will of God. 

  • What are some ways that you can show you are living as an adopted son or daughter of God?
  • How would you describe the completely new life that you have through your Baptism?
  • What are some ways your family can follow the will of God?

Sacrament Connection

The Sacrament of Baptism makes us members of the Church and adopted sons and daughters of God.  We become part of God’s family, and are followers of Jesus.  The family of Jesus does the will of God. 

The Gospel in Life

This week look around at what you can do to show that you are following the will of God. 

Posted in: Sessions B