Easter Sunday, Year A, junior high

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Junior High Session

Acts 10:34, 37-43
John 20:1-9

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
O God, you make all things new in Christ.
Thank you for the gift of everlasting life.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

The theme for today is the resurrection of Jesus. To begin, invite the youngsters to think of a person who has touched their lives in a special way. Provide materials for each person to create an Easter card for someone who has enriched their life with joy and kindness.

  • Why is Easter a time of joy?
  • How can you share the joy of Easter with others?
  • How does your family celebrate Easter?

Allow time for discussion. On Easter Sunday we celebrate the gift of new life. We are filled with joy and hope because the gift of life is forever.


Listening to the Word of God

In the first reading from Acts of the Apostles, listen to how the good news about Jesus spreads.

Read Acts 10:34, 37-43.

Allow for silence.


Scripture Discussion Starters

  • What good news about Jesus is being spread?
  • What happens to Jesus after he is put to death?
  • What do Jesus’ followers go on to preach?

In the Gospel today listen to how Jesus is raised to new life.

Read John 20:1-9.

Allow for silence.

  • Who is the first person to find the stone removed at Jesus’ tomb?
  • What happens when Peter and the other disciple go to the tomb?
  • Who is the first to believe that Jesus has been raised from the dead?


Scripture Background

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

Today’s reading from Acts of the Apostles proclaims Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection and its meaning for the world. Peter preaches the Good News about Jesus with urgency and excitement. Peter tells the story of Jesus’ Baptism, his preaching, and his healing of those afflicted by the devil. He tells of Jesus’ passion, Death and Resurrection, and the forgiveness of sins, which results from these events. Peter speaks as one of the chosen witnesses who ate and drank with Jesus after his resurrection. Today’s first reading announces the whole message of the Good News of Jesus, centering on his resurrection.

In today’s joyous Gospel passage, the story of the resurrection of Jesus unfolds. Mary Magdalene makes an early morning visit to Jesus’ tomb only to find that the stone has been removed. Quickly, she tells the story to Peter and the beloved disciple and they go to the tomb. The beloved disciple reaches the tomb first, yet allows Peter to enter before him. Both enter the tomb, but the beloved disciple alone is described as believing. The writer of today’s Gospel makes the point that because of the beloved disciple’s love for Jesus, he comes more quickly to believe that Jesus is risen. The early morning discovery of Jesus’ empty tomb represents the dawning awareness that Jesus has been raised from the dead.


Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • Why does Jesus eat and drink with the disciples after he is raised from the dead?
  • Why is the resurrection of Jesus so important?
  • How does your love for Jesus help you believe in the resurrection?

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


Doctrinal Discussion Starters

“On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the scriptures…”

The love that God has for us does not end with the death of Jesus on the cross. God raised Jesus to new life. The chains of death are broken. The Risen Lord is not a ghost who appears to the disciples. Jesus did not simply come back to life; the resurrection of Jesus is a passing over from death into a new and glorious life.

In Baptism we are joined to Christ. In the waters of Baptism we die to sin and rise to new life. During Easter we celebrate this gift of new life. We remember that we share in the new life of Jesus through Baptism.

  • How does God show divine love for us?
  • What happens when we are baptized?
  • What do we celebrate during Easter?


The Gospel in Life

How can you share the joy of Easter with others this week?

Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition

At Home Family Guide, theme 27
Junior High, Jesus in the New Testament, chapter 12
Junior High, Mystery of God, chapters 10 and 11


Posted in: Sessions A