Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session

Sirach 27:4–7
Luke 6:39–45

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Holy Spirit, help us to think about the choices that we have made.
Holy Spirit, help us think about the ways we have chosen to show
or not to show our love for God.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Reflection

The theme for today is to avoid temptation and to make good choices. Talk to the children about what they do when they are tempted and how they decide to make a good choice. Have the children describe on a small piece of paper various situations they may find themselves in. Randomly read the situations and discuss the best choice to make in each scenario. Discuss:

•    What is the difference in making a “big” choice and a “little” choice?
•    What is a temptation? 
•    Why is it sometimes difficult to make a good choice?

Allow time for discussion. Our family, teachers, and friends help us to make our choices. Sometimes we are tempted to make a bad choice. Temptation is everything that tries to get us to walk away from God and his love. 


Listening to the Word of God

In today’s Old Testament reading, listen to discover some advice on how one is to live one’s life. 
Read Sirach 27:4-7.
Allow for silence.


Scripture Discussion Starters

•    What does one’s speech tell about the character of the person?
•    How does the reading explain that one’s faults appear?
•    What does the fruit of a tree show? 

The first reading is from Jewish Wisdom literature, which is concerned with teaching the basis of moral behavior.  The advice is clear: one’s speech is a sure guide that reveals the inner character of the person.

In today’s Gospel reading, listen to Jesus describe ways to live a good life.  

Read Luke 6:39—45.

Allow for silence.

•    How can a disciple be like his teacher?
•    How do you know that a tree is good? 
•    Where does a good person store goodness? 


Scripture Background

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

The Gospel reading from Luke contains two parables from the Sermon on the Plain. These two parables make the same point about the importance of Jesus’ disciples living exemplary lives in accord with his teaching. The admonition about blindness is important for those whose example will influence others. Otherwise, one risks the catastrophe of falling into a ditch. The second example is the absurdity of an unnoticed plank hanging from one’s eye. The basis of Christian morality is the teaching and example of Jesus. Each of us is called to show others the way by listening to Jesus and putting his words into action.


Questions for Deeper Reflection

•    What is the connection between the way a person behaves and their values? 
•    Why does Jesus say “You hypocrite!”?
•    Discuss the phrase “from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.” 


Doctrinal Discussion Starters

God calls everyone to make good choices and to live holy lives. Conscience is one of the many gifts that God gives us to help us live holy lives. Conscience helps you know and judge what is right and wrong. We train our conscience correctly by praying, reading the Bible, learning the teachings of the Church, and asking people for good advice. 

An examination of conscience is an ancient and proven spiritual discipline that helps us to discern where and when we have loved God and others through word and action as well as where and when we have fallen short of loving God and others. 

•    Why is it important to form our conscience? 
•    What are some ways to help us form our conscience?
•    What are some things you can do when you are faced with temptations? 


Sacrament Connection

God gives every person the gift of a conscience. Conscience is the ability to judge when an action is right or wrong. An examination of conscience is thinking about your words and deeds in the light of the Gospel to see how you may have sinned. It is a way to prepare for the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. 


The Gospel in Life

This week think of what you can do to develop a good conscience. 


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