Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, Junior High

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Junior High Session
Genesis 3:9—15
Mark 3:20—35

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Almighty God, you have created each of us out of your love.
Thank you for sending us your Son, Jesus, as our Redeemer.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.

Opening Reflection

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

Ask each member of the family to write on a small sheet of paper or an index card one or two  pieces of advice that parents or family members may have given them.  Collect the cards and then read and discuss the advice. 


  • Was any of this advice hard to follow or did it embarrass you?
  • Why do you think parents would give you some hard advice?
  • What are some ways that you learn to do the right thing?

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

The first reading is the familiar passage from the beginning of Genesis telling of the disobedience and Fall of Adam and Eve.

Read Genesis 3:9—15
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

  • How did Adam and Eve respond to the temptation of the serpent?
  • Why did Adam and Eve turn away from God?
  • What are some of the things that happened because Adam and Eve turned away from God?

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

  • What was the advice that Jesus' family was giving him?
  • How did Jesus respond to this advice?
  • How do you think Jesus' mother might have responded to the answer that Jesus gave them?

Scripture Background

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

The first reading from Genesis grapples with the reality of evil in a world created by God who is utterly good.  Adam and Eve’s sin of disobedience results in shame and blaming.  Even though God curses the snake, Eve still does have power over the snake. She could have ignored the snake. Adam and Eve suffered the consequences of their disobedience, but they never loss their dignity as created in God's image and likeness. 

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.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • Explain how the reading from Genesis can be considered good news?
  • Discuss what it means to say where sin abounds, grace abounds even more.
  • What do you think doing the will of God means?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters

Sin and evil made their way into the good world of God’s creation when Adam and Eve turned away from God.  We give the name Original Sin to this turning away from God and his plan of Creation. 

Adam and Eve freely choose to do what they knew God did not want them to do.  They sinned, and by their sin, all humanity lost original holiness and original justice.  The first reading from Genesis tells of humanity’s fall from grace and loss of original holiness with the temptation of Adam and Eve. 

Adam and Eve gave into the temptation and sinned.  They rejected God by rejecting his loving commandment.  The loss of original holiness has become part of our fallen human nature.  We now share in the effects of Original Sin.  The world and all of us in the human family are marked by sin.  From the very first moment of our existence, we need to be reconciled with God. 

God did not reject Adam and Eve after they turned away from him.  He approached them as a loving and good father.  God promised to send someone to heal the relationship between him and humanity.  This is God’s plan of salvation in Jesus Christ.

  • What does being an adopted son or daughter of God mean to you?
  • What does Gods plan of salvation tell you about God?
  • Discuss some ways that the Sacrament of Baptism changes your life.

Sacrament Connection

Through the Sacrament of Baptism, we become adopted sons and daughters of God.  We are reborn in Christ with the forgiveness of Original Sin at Baptism.  We receive the gift and grace of the Holy Spirit to live as children of God the Father.

The Gospel in Life

The Sign of the Cross is the prayer that reminds us of our Baptism.  This week take the time to say this short prayer slowly and to think about what it means to be Baptized “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”. 

Posted in: Sessions B