All Souls, Junior High

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Junior High Session
Isaiah 25:6-9
John 6:37-40

Opening Prayer
Let us pray.
God of hope and promise,
You are with us in times of sorrow, and you promise to wipe away our tears.
Help us trust in your promise of eternal life.
In the name of Jesus we pray.
Amen.

Opening Life Reflection
The topic for today is Heaven. To begin divide the group into small groups of four or five. Invite the young people to reflect on historical people who have been a source of life and hope for others, even after their death. Have each group select one person and write a short paragraph about why that person is a source of hope for others. Invite a person from each group to read their paragraph to the large group. Discuss:
• What do these people teach us about life after death?
• What does it mean to have hope?
• How does hope help us deal with life’s losses?

Allow time for discussion. We believe in life after death. Our faith in God’s promise gives us hope in times of loss and grief.

Listening to the Word of God
In the Old Testament reading today, listen to what God promises.

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

Scripture Discussion Starters
• How is life with God described?
• Why will God wipe away all tears?
• How does today’s reading bring hope?

In today’s gospel, listen to Jesus’ promise of eternal life.

Read John 6:37-40.
Allow for silence.

• How is Jesus obedient to the will of God?
• What has Jesus come from heaven to do?
• What will happen to all those who believe in the Son of God?

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
• Why do we pray for those who have died?
• How would you describe eternal happiness?
• Why does today’s gospel bring us great comfort?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
Heaven

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 us until that time when God reveals heaven to us.

• What do we believe about death?
• What do we believe about heaven?
• What is the beatific vision?

The Gospel in Life
This week take some time to pray for all those who have died that they will live forever with God.

Posted in: Sessions A , Sessions B , Sessions C