All Souls, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session
Isaiah 25:6-9
John 6:37-40

Opening Prayer
Let us pray.
Thank you, God, for your promise of eternal life.
Help us to find signs of life and hope in all of creation.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.

Opening Life Reflection
The topic for today is Heaven. To begin, place pictures and actual signs of life found in nature on a table in the center of the room. Some examples are: branches with budding leaves, flowers, a cracked egg, an open cocoon, a picture of a sunrise, etc. Invite the children to examine the items and brainstorm what they tell them about life after death. Write down their responses on a sheet of poster paper. Discuss:
• Where in creation do you see signs of life and hope?
• What do you believe about life after death?
• What do you imagine heaven is like?

Allow time for discussion. We believe in God’s promise of eternal life. We call eternal life with God heaven.

Listening to the Word of God
In the Old Testament reading today listen to God’s promise of eternal life.

Read Isaiah 25:6-9.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters
• How is eternal life with God described?
• What will God do about death?
• How will God save the people?

In today’s gospel listen to find out what will happen to those who believe in Jesus.

Read John 6:37-40
Allow for silence.

• What has Jesus come from heaven to do?
• What does Jesus tell his listeners about the will of God?
• What will happen to those who believe in Jesus?

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

On today’s feast of All Souls we pray for the eternal happiness of all the faithful departed. We pray in the hope that one day God will wipe away all tears and welcome us to life everlasting.

In the first reading from Isaiah we are given hope in God’s great promise of eternal life. Happiness with God forever is described as a wonderful feast with rich food and good wine. For the people of the time, sharing a meal together was the greatest sign of hospitality. The image of a banquet is used in today’s passage to describe the fullness of life in God’s presence.

Today’s gospel brings us great comfort. All who believe in the Son of God will have eternal life. Jesus assures us of our ultimate destiny of eternal happiness with God the Father, Jesus our Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit-our Comforter.

Questions for Deeper Reflection
• What do we pray for on today’s feast of All Souls?
• Why is a banquet used in the first reading to describe happiness with God forever?
• How do today’s readings give us hope?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters

We believe that death is not an end, but a passageway to new life. After death, we pass into a life beyond this earthly existence to eternal life with God. We believe that those who die in grace and friendship with God live forever in eternal happiness with God.

By his saving death and resurrection, Jesus Christ has won for us new life and has opened the gates of heaven for us. Jesus welcomes into heaven all those who believe in him and who have remained faithful.

This complete communion with God in heaven is a mystery of faith. We call this total and complete union with God the beatific vision—to see God “face to face” (1 John 3:2). Scripture uses images to help us understand this mystery: life, light, peace, banquet, wedding feast, the Father’s house and paradise. However, the reality of this mystery is beyond our understanding until that time when God reveals heaven to us.

• Why is death not an end?
• What do we believe about those who die in friendship with God?
• What is the beatific vision?

The Gospel in Life
This week take some time to pray for relatives and friends who have died. Pray that they will live forever in eternal happiness with God.

Posted in: Sessions A , Sessions B , Sessions C