Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, Junior High

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

Opening Prayer
Let us pray.
O God, as members of our Church family,
help us to love and serve you together.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.
Amen.

Opening Life Reflection
The theme for today is the mystery of the Church. To begin, write the word Church on a sheet of poster paper and brainstorm with the youngsters about what comes to mind when they think of the word Church. Write down their responses. Discuss:
• How is the Church a community of believers?
• What is the mission or work of the Church?
• How do we as members of the Church community help to carry out the Church’s mission?

Allow time for discussion. The mission and purpose 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.

Listening to the Word of God
In the first reading from the Old Testament, listen to how God’s enduring love for the people of Israel is revealed to Moses.

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

Scripture Discussion Starters
• Why does God call Moses to the mountain?
• What message does God tell Moses to give to the people?
• How is God’s love for the Israelites shown to Moses?

In the gospel today listen to Jesus tell his followers about their mission in the world.

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

• Why does Jesus show compassion for the crowds?
• How does Jesus compare his disciples to laborers?
• What does Jesus tell his followers about their mission in the world?

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
• Why does God offer to enter into a covenant with the people of Israel?
• How does Jesus show his love for the people?
• Why does Jesus want his followers to continue his ministry on earth?

[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.

• What does it mean to say the Church is the people of God?
• What is the work of the Church?
• How are all members of the Church called to continue the mission of Jesus?

The Gospel in Life
How can you spread the good news of God’s love as an active member of the Church this week?

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Posted in: Sessions A