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

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Primary Session

Matthew 18:21-35

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.

Loving God, thank you for your forgiving love.

Help us to be forgiving too.

In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

The topic for today is forgiveness. To begin, brainstorm with the children ways that people show forgiveness. Provide blank sheets of white paper and crayons and invite each child to draw a picture that shows them being forgiven. Discuss:

• When do you ask for forgiveness?
• What words do you use?
• How can you show forgiveness to someone who has hurt you?

Allow time for discussion. God is kind and forgiving. We are called to be kind and forgiving toward others.

Listening to the Word of God

In the gospel today listen to a story that Jesus tells to teach about forgiveness.

Read Matthew 18:21-35.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

• What story does Jesus tell?
• How does the king treat the slave who owes him a debt?
• How does the slave treat his fellow slaves?
• What does Jesus’ story teach about forgiveness?

Scripture Background

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

In today’s gospel Jesus teaches about the importance of forgiveness. Peter asks Jesus about how many times we should forgive someone who wrongs us. With his answer seventy-seven times, Jesus makes the point that forgiveness should have no limit. Jesus tells his followers that it is important for them to share with others the gift of forgiveness that God has given them. The story that Jesus tells about a king and an unforgiving slave teaches that we are to forgive one another because God has forgiven us. Today’s passage closes with a firm warning to forgive as God forgives.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

• When do you forgive?

• Why is it important to forgive those who hurt you?

• Do you ask for forgiveness when you do something wrong?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
We are part of God’s family. As children of God we affect one other’s lives by the choices we make. Sometimes we do things that we know are wrong. We choose to turn away from loving God, others and ourselves. When we do these things we sin.

But God is always forgiving. As believers we confess our sinfulness to God and to one another. When we do this, we experience the mercy and forgiveness of God. Jesus taught us to forgive one another as God has forgiven us.

We are to forgive those who hurt us. This can be difficult at times. We may feel anger toward the people who harm us. Jesus taught his followers to forgive and love their enemies. Jesus even prayed for his enemies at the time of his suffering and death. Catholics are called to follow the example of Jesus.

• What did Jesus teach us about the forgiveness of God?
• Where do you learn about the forgiveness of God?
• How do you follow the example of Jesus?

Sacrament Connection
In the sacrament of reconciliation we celebrate God’s forgiving love. We confess our sins and say that we are sorry. We confess our sins to a priest, who represents the believing community. We become reconciled with God and the believing community.

The Gospel in Life
Do you have someone that you can forgive this week? Tell them that you forgive them.

Posted in: Sessions A