Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, Primary

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Primary Session

Matthew 20:1-16

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.

God of kindness and love, you created us and we belong to you.

Help us to live as your children.

In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

The topic for today is the Sacrament of Penance. To begin, place a large bowl of water on a table in the center of the room. Invite the children to gather around the bowl of water. Drop a small pebble in the water and call the children’s attention to the ripples that form in the water. Discuss:

• What happens to the ripples after the pebble is thrown into the water?
• When you do something good, how does the love ripple and make things better?
• When you do something to hurt someone, how does the hurt ripple and spread?

Allow time for discussion. When we do something good, the love spreads like ripples on water. When we hurt others with our words or actions, the hurt spreads too. We can help stop the hurt by saying that we are sorry. Our faith teaches that God always forgives us when we are sorry.

Listening to the Word of God

In the gospel today, listen to a story Jesus tells to teach about God’s love.

Read Matthew 20:1-16.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

• What story does Jesus tell?
• What does the landowner do?
• Why do some of the workers feel that they have been treated unfairly?
• How is the landowner like God?

Scripture Background

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

In today’s gospel, Jesus tells a story about workers in a vineyard. Like many of Jesus’ parables, the story ends with a twist. Jesus wants us to see things differently. Through his parables Jesus teaches about the reign of God.

The landowner in today’s story pays a full day’s wage to all his workers, even those who only work for part of the day. This makes some of the workers upset because they think that they should get more. Jesus’ parable teaches that God’s goodness and love is for all people.

The people of Jesus’ time found it hard to understand why God would forgive sinners. Today’s parable shows that everyone gets what he or she needs to survive because of the owner’s compassion, not because they have earned it.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

• How does Jesus teach about the reign of God?

• Does God’s love reach out to all people?

• Why does God forgive us even when we choose to do wrong?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
The Sacrament of Penance
God’s love is unconditional. God always loves and forgives us. Through the sacrament of baptism all sins are forgiven and we are reborn in Christ. The Church does not re-baptize those who sin after baptism. Instead, Catholics celebrate the God’s forgiveness in the sacrament of reconciliation.

When we sin, we do things that hurt our friendship with God and with others. In the sacrament of reconciliation we are reunited with God and others in the Church. God always loves us and offers forgiveness.

Catholics believe there are four parts to the celebration of the sacrament of reconciliation. First we show that we are sorry for our sins. Second, we tell, or confess, our sins to a priest. The priest acts in the name of Jesus. Third, the harm that is done must be repaired. We receive a penance from the priest. Fourth, we receive absolution. The priest extends his hands over our head in blessing and prays for our forgiveness. This prayer of absolution shows that it is God alone who forgives. Through the sacrament of reconciliation we receive the strength to live faithfully as God’s children.

• Why do we celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation?
• What are the four parts in the sacrament of Reconciliation?
• What helps you to live as a child of God?

Sacrament Connection
The sacrament of reconciliation restores us to the relationship of love with God we entered into at Baptism. When we celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation we return to God and to the Church community.

The Gospel in Life
This week ask God to help you make good and loving choices.

Posted in: Sessions A