Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Primary

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Primary Session
Luke 7:36-8:3

Opening Prayer
Let us Pray.
Loving God,
You forgive our every sin.
Help us to treat others with kindness.
Give us courage to forgive others and ask them to forgive us.
Help us bring peace into our lives and the lives of others.
We ask this in Jesus’ name, the Prince of Peace. Amen.

Opening Life Reflection
We learn in today’s gospel that it is important to forgive one another. We should ask others to forgive us, too. Give each child a large bandage. Allow them time to think of a situation where they have been hurt or someone has hurt them. If possible, have them recall a situation that is still unresolved. Next have them draw a symbol or write a word on the bandage that represents the situation.
• How will forgiveness help the hurt go away?
• What are some things you can say to help start a conversation with the other person?
• Is there anyone who can help you take a step toward forgiveness? Will you ask that person for help?

Allow time for children to share their illustrations and what they hope will be the outcome of their conversation with the other person.

Listening to the Word of God
Jesus makes clear in this gospel that no matter what we have done, God loves us and will forgive us when we are sorry.

Read Luke 7:36-8:3
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters
• Which of the people in this gospel story do you think had sinned the most?
• What was the difference between the Simon’s attitude and the woman’s?
• How were the people in the story similar to the people who owed money in the parable Jesus told?
• What did Jesus try to point out to the Pharisee about his sinfulness and the woman’s sinfulness?

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

Jesus attended dinner as a guest in a church official’s house. While they ate, a woman, whose sinfulness was well known in the community, came into the house. She wept and washed Jesus’ feet with her tears. She dried them with her hair and then poured expensive oil on his feet. The Pharisee complained about such extravagance. Indeed the presence of the sinful woman in his home embarrassed him.

Jesus knew that the woman had great sins in her life. He knew that the church leader hadn’t sinned nearly as much. To show that the woman especially needed God’s love, Jesus told a parable about two people who owed money. The person they owed the money to said they didn’t have to pay it back. The Pharisee knew that the person who owed the most money would be the happiest about this. Jesus said it was the same for the person who had the greatest sins forgiven.

Questions for Deeper Reflection
• Has your attitude ever been similar to Simon’s? Do you sometimes think you are better than another person?
• What was Jesus trying to show by accepting the actions of the woman who had sinned?
• Why is it hard to admit that we’ve done something wrong?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
Sacrament of Reconciliation

We believe, as Catholics, that our sins need to be recognized and presented before God. In most cases our sins are not mortal, but still they get in the way of our relationship with God. Our Church offers two important opportunities for us to ask God to forgive us. Every time we go to mass, there is “penitential rite” when we can tell God that we are sorry for our actions that keep us apart from God. God hears our sorrow and forgives us. Through Christ, bishops and priests can forgive our sins. We confess our sins to them in the sacrament of reconciliation. Whenever we say we are sorry for doing something wrong, whether we are sorry to God or to another person, we must also be willing to change so that we do not commit that sin again.

• How does the Church help us receive God’s forgiveness?
• How can we help one another in our parish community find forgiveness?
• How does a priest help us take responsibility for our sins?

Sacrament Connection
Our Church provides an opportunity for us to tell God we are sorry for doing something that separates us from God. The sacrament of reconciliation is a time when we present ourselves to a priest or bishop who acts in the place of Jesus. The priest hears our sins and forgives us. He gives us some ideas of ways we can show that we are sorry for what we did (or didn’t do). To show that we are truly sorry for what we have done, we need to try very hard not to commit the sin again.

The Gospel in Life
Is there someone you need to go to this week and say you are sorry? Or is there someone who needs your forgiveness?

Posted in: Sessions C