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Baptism of Our Lord, Year C, Intermediate

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Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7
Luke 3:15-16, 21-22

Opening Prayer

Let us pray as we have been baptized.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Lord God, in baptism we die with Christ to rise again in him.
Strengthen us through your Spirit to walk in the newness of life as your adopted children.

 

Opening Life Reflection

The theme for today is Baptism and mission. To begin, divide the children into small groups and have them list all the groups that they belong to on a sheet of newsprint.  Then invite the children to share with the large group what they have listed.  Discuss:

  • How do you become a member of a particular group?
  • What responsibilities do you take on as a member of a group?
  • How do we become members of the Catholic Church?

Allow time for discussion.  Through the Sacrament of Baptism we become members of the Body of Christ, the Church.  As members of the Body of Christ we take on the mission of Jesus.

 

Listening to the Word of God

In the Old Testament reading, listen to how God’s servant is described.

Read Isaiah 42:1-4, 6-7.
Allow for silence.

 

Scripture Discussion Starters

  • How is God’s servant described?
  • What will God’s servant bring to the earth?
  • What is hopeful about the reading?

In the Gospel today listen to how the baptism of Jesus takes place.
Read Luke 13:15-16, 21-22.
Allow for silence.

  • What does Jesus ask John to do?
  • What is John’s response to Jesus?
  • What happens just after Jesus comes up from the water?

 

Scripture Background

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

The baptism of Jesus continues the theme of Jesus’ humanity, which is apparent throughout the Christmas season readings. However, today’s celebration of the Baptism of the Lord marks the end of the Christmas season.  The baptism of Jesus begins his public ministry. Today’s readings help us understand the significance of the sacrament of Baptism for all Christians.

Today’s Old Testament reading describes a chosen one who will deliver God’s people.  God’s servant will endure suffering and remain faithful to his mission.  God’s chosen servant will be a light to all nations and bring justice to the world.

Luke’s Gospel today presents the baptism of Jesus. Jesus comes to John to be baptized.  John questions Jesus at first because he thinks that Jesus should be the one to baptize.  Jesus tells John to baptize him in order to fulfill what he has come to do.  When Jesus comes up from the water, the heavens open and Jesus is revealed as God’s Son, the beloved.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • What does the baptism of Jesus tell us about the sacrament of Baptism?
  • What do we celebrate in Baptism?
  • How is the sacrament of Baptism a new beginning for all Christians?

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

 

Doctrinal Discussion Starters

Baptism and Mission
In the Sacrament of Baptism we are joined to Jesus Christ and we are joined to the Church.  We become members of the body of Christ and we share in the mission of Jesus.  In Baptism we begin a new life that will be lived in the Spirit.

Water is the main symbol used in Baptism.  The term “baptism” comes from the Greek word to “plunge” or “immerse.”  At our baptism we plunge into the water of new life.

Catholics understand Baptism to be a sacrament that we continue to live throughout our lives.  Through Baptism we are charged with the responsibility to continue the mission of Jesus and to participate in the Church’s mission of spreading Christ’s message of forgiveness and love throughout the world.

  • What happens at the celebration of Baptism?
  • What is the meaning of the main symbol of water used in Baptism?
  • How does our Baptism help us to take on the mission of Jesus?

 

The Gospel in Life

Each day this week make the sign of the cross and remember that those are the words of your baptism.  As you do this, thank God for the gift of your baptism.

Faith First Legacy
Grade 4, chapter 12
Grade 5, chapter 12
Grade 6, chapter 13

Blest Are We
Grade 4, chapter 6
Grade 5, chapter 5
Grade 6, chapter 10

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Posted in: Sessions C