Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session
Exodus 19:2-6
Matthew 9:36-10:8

Opening Prayer
Let us pray.
O God, may your Church always be a sign of your love in the world.
Help us to bring your healing and compassion to others.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.
Amen.

Opening Life Reflection
The theme for today is the mystery of the Church. To begin, divide the group into small groups of four or five. Explain to the children that they soon will have the opportunity to design a cover for their parish bulletin. Discuss:
• Where is God’s love most needed in the world today?
• What is the task of the Church in the world?
• How does your parish help to bring God’s love into the world?

Allow time for discussion. The task of the Church is to bring all people into loving union with God. As members of the Church we are called to spread the love of God throughout the world. Provide blank sheets of white paper, pencils, and markers and invite the children to design a bulletin cover that incorporates what they have learned from their discussion. Allow time for each group to share their bulletin cover with the large group.

Listening to the Word of God
In the first reading from the Old Testament, listen to the message given to Moses from God on Mount Sinai.

Read Exodus 19:2-6.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters
• Why does God call Moses to the mountain?
• What message does God want Moses to give to the people of Israel?
• How does God show love for the Israelites?

In the gospel today, listen to find out how to live as a follower of Jesus.

Read Matthew 9:36-10:8.
Allow for silence.

• Why does Jesus show compassion for the people?
• How does Jesus care for the people?
• What does Jesus tell his followers to do?

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

In today’s Old Testament reading, God offers to enter into a covenant with the people of Israel. While the Israelites are camped in the wilderness of Sinai, God calls Moses up the mountain. On Mount Sinai, Moses is reminded of how God freed the people of Israel from the bondage of slavery. God reveals to Moses that the Israelites are held in God’s love and care. God offers to enter into a covenant with the people and the conditions are that they hear God’s word and put it into practice. Moses is given the task of bringing God’s message to the chosen people.

In today’s gospel, Jesus shows compassion for the people he loves. It is clear that Jesus’ ministry of teaching and healing comes out of his love for the people. Jesus wants to be sure that his ministry in the world continues. In this passage, Jesus entrusts to his followers a mission that is identical to his own ministry. The disciples are called to continue the love and healing that Jesus has begun on earth. The mission of the first disciples continues with the Church’s mission today.

Questions for Deeper Reflection
• What does God offer the people of Israel?
• How does Jesus show his love for people?
• How does Jesus want his followers to show love for others?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
The Mystery of the Church

We believe that the Church is the people of God who walk together with faith in Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit. All the people of God make up the Church, those who are alive now and those who have died. The purpose of the Church can be summarized as serving the plan of God to bring all people into communion with God.

The Church is human and divine. Christ is the Head of the Church and we are the members. There are weaknesses in the Church because we have not yet arrived at our full destiny. In the meantime, we work to continue the mission of Jesus by helping others and spreading the good news of God’s love.

• Why do we call the Church the people of God?
• What is the work of the Church?
• What are all members of the Church called to do?

The Gospel in Life
How can you continue the work of Jesus at home, in school and with friends this week?

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Posted in: Sessions A