Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session
2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16
Matthew 10:37-42

Opening Prayer
Let us pray.
Loving God, by our baptism we are joined to your Son Jesus Christ.
Help us come to know and love Jesus more each day.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.
Amen.

Opening Life Reflection
The topic for today is the Sacrament of Baptism. To begin, invite the children to think of all the people at home, in school, and in their community who help them live a good life. Provide paper, markers, and pencils, and invite the children to make cards to thank those individuals who give them love and support. Discuss:

  • How do members of a family love and support one another?
  • How do we become members of God's family?
  • How do members of God's family care for one another?

Allow time for discussion. It is good to be part of a family. At our baptism, we are welcomed into God's family, the Church. As members of God's family we care for one another.

Listening to the Word of God
In the Old Testament reading, listen to find out how a woman cares for the prophet Elisha.

Read 2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

  • How does the woman care for the prophet Elisha?
  • Why does she ask her husband to find Elisha a place to stay?
  • How is the woman rewarded for her kindness?

In the gospel today, listen to what Jesus tells his disciples about welcoming him.

Read Matthew 10:37-42.
Allow for silence.

  • What does Jesus tell his followers about welcoming him?
  • How does Jesus tell his followers to put him first?
  • What does Jesus say about taking up the cross?

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

In the Old Testament reading, the prophet Elisha helps reveal the word of God to the people. The message in today's passage is: those who welcome a prophet will receive a prophet's reward. Traveling through town, Elisha needs a place to stay and a woman welcomes him. The woman gives the prophet food and she asks her husband to set aside a room for him. The woman responds to the needs of the prophet out of kindness, seeking nothing in return. The prophet wants to reward her for her kindness. Elisha finds out that the woman's greatest wish is to have a son. Elisha tells the woman that in due time she will have a son.

In today's gospel, Jesus helps his disciples put their priorities in order. Jesus tells his followers that they are to put Jesus first, before themselves and their families. There is another requirement. Those who follow Jesus need to take up the cross. Today's gospel shows that the cross not only symbolizes death, but it offers the promise of new life.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • How can you welcome new people at school or in your neighborhood?
  • Why does Jesus want his followers to put him first?
  • What does the cross symbolize?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
Sacrament of Baptism
We believe that Baptism (along with Confirmation and Eucharist) initiates one as a member into God's Church. Being a member of the Church means that we belong to God and we are united with one another. We are members of God's family. As members of God's family we depend on one another. The love and support of others helps us to live out our baptism.

We are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Our baptism incorporates us into Christ's mission. At our baptism we promise to bring Christ's love into the world, to reject sin and selfishness and to put Jesus Christ first. All people who are baptized are called to live out their baptismal promises for the rest of our lives.

  • Have you seen a baptism? If so, describe.
  • What does it mean to belong to God's family?
  • What helps remind you of your baptismal promises?

The Gospel in Life
What one thing can you do to live out your baptism this week?

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Posted in: Sessions A