Third Sunday in Ordinary Time — Year C, intermediate

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Intermediate Session
Nehemiah 8:2-4, 5-6, 8-10
Luke 1:1-4: 4:14-21

 

Opening Prayer

Most Holy God,
You speak to us through your Holy Word.
May the scriptures guide us and teach us how to live.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

 

Opening Life Reflection

The main topic for today’s session is Sacred Scripture. Begin with the following questions:

  • What do you like to do after you hear good news?
  • Who do you share good news with?

Allow time for discussion. Hearing good news often leads us to share our excitement with others. It was the same for the people who wrote the scriptures. In the Bible we hear the good news about God’s love for us. Writers who were guided by the Holy Spirit wrote the books of the bible.

 

Listening to the Word of God

In the Old Testament reading, listen to how the Book of the Law of Moses is read to the people.
Read Nehemiah 8:2-4, 5-6, 8-10.
Allow for silence.

 

Scripture Discussion Starters

  • Why is the Book of the Law of Moses read to the people?
  • Why do the people stand when the book is opened?
  • Why are the people told not to morn or weep?

In the gospel reading, listen to what Jesus does in the synagogue.
Read Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21.
Allow for silence.

  • Where does Jesus go on the Sabbath?
  • What does Jesus do in the Synagogue?
  • Why were the eyes of all the people fixed on Jesus after he read from the scroll?

 

Scripture Background

Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the readings.

In the first reading from the Old Testament the sacred scriptures are proclaimed to the Jewish people. God’s Word gives them strength and hope during a time of rebuilding. After their exile, the people of Israel have the task of rebuilding their nation. Not only were the temple and the holy city in ruins, but the religious identity of the people was also in question. In the Old Testament reading we see what an important role the proclamation of sacred scripture played in renewing Israel’s Covenant with God.

Today’s gospel begins with Luke’s introduction to the good news about Jesus Christ. The audience that Luke is writing for has already heard about Jesus. Luke wants to given them a greater understanding of the events that they have already come to know. The gospel reading goes on to mark the beginning of Jesus’ ministry as he reads from the sacred scroll in the synagogue. The people listen to the scriptures with great reverence as Jesus stands to read from the prophet Isaiah. Jesus then interprets the sacred text to find meaning for his life at the time. This reveals how the Word of scripture is living and active. We too can find meaning and direction in the scriptures for our lives today.

 

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • In what way do these readings describe how we worship at Mass?
  • When do you listen to the scriptures?
  • How can the Bible give direction to your life?
  • How can you share the good news about Jesus with others?

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

 

Doctrinal Discussion Starters

Sacred Scripture

Catholics believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Word of God. Both Scripture and Tradition come from the Word of God. God’s Word helps teach us how to live. God speaks to us through the scriptures. The Holy Spirit inspired the writers of the books of the Bible. Therefore, we believe the Bible reveals the truth as God intends it to be revealed.

Communication helps all our relationships grow. When we read and listen to scripture we enter into a dialogue with God. This prayerful dialogue strengthens our faith and nourishes our relationship with God.

  • How does God communicate with you?
  • How do you communicate with God?
  • Do you listen for God’s message to you when you hear the scriptures read at Mass?

 

The Gospel in Life

Next time you hear the scriptures being proclaimed, listen for the message God has for you.

 

Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition
At Home Family Guide, theme 2
Grade 4, chapter 1
Grade 5, chapter 1
Grade 6, chapter 4