Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session
Isaiah 55:10-11
Matthew 13:1-23

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
O God, open our ears to hear your word.
Help us to live your word in our daily lives.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.

Opening Life Reflection

The topic for today is sacred Scripture. To begin, share with the children how to prepare soil for planting seeds. If possible, provide a sample of potting soil, rocks and some weeds to demonstrate. Describe how to till the soil and remove the rocks. Explain how it is important to pull any weeds because they can choke the new growth. Then show how the soil is ready for the seeds to grow. Discuss:

  • Have you ever seen a garden?
  • Why is it important to have good soil?
  • How is our faith in God like good soil?

Allow time for discussion. God's word is like a seed planted in our hearts. We are like good soil when we allow God's word to take root in us. 

Listening to the Word of God

In today's Old Testament reading, listen to how God's word is like the rain.

Read Isaiah 55:10-11.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

  • How is God's Word like the rain?
  • What does rain do for the earth?
  • How does God's Word help the people?

In today's gospel, listen to the challenge to hear God's Word and let it take root.

Read Matthew 13:1-23. (Shorter Matthew 13:1-9)
Allow for silence.

  • What story does Jesus tell?
  • What do the seeds represent?
  • What does the good soil represent?
  • What does Jesus teach about hearing God's word?

Scripture Background

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

In the first reading from the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah reassures the people that God will protect and care for them. According to Isaiah, Israel can trust in the continuing power of God's Word to deliver them from exile. Isaiah compares God's word to life-giving water. Rain and snow fall from the sky and water the earth, providing good soil for seeds to grow. The word of God is like rain, sent to enliven the faith of the people.

In today's gospel, the word of God is spoken through Jesus' parable. Jesus told stories to help people understand the Kingdom of God. Today's parable about the sower and the seed shows the challenges of hearing God's word and letting it bear fruit. The author of today's passage provides an interpretation of the story. The seed is the word of God. The challenge for the listener is to be like good soil and allow the word of God to take root. Today's parable makes clear our call to hear the word of God word and live it.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • What gets in the way of our hearing God's word?
  • What helps you to listen to God's word and act on it?
  • What does it mean to live the word of God?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
Sacred Scripture
We Catholics believe that God is the author of sacred scripture. The Old and New Testaments contain inspired writings. While human beings composed the texts, they were written under the inspiration of God. We believe that Jesus Christ, the living Word of God, is present in the sacred Scriptures. Jesus opens our minds and hearts so that we may understand the truth of the written word.

The Church helps us interpret the Word of God with the guidance of the Spirit. To discover the meaning of God's Word the Church teaches that we first must understand why God speaks to us. The purpose is for our salvation in Jesus Christ. When interpreting scripture we also must try to understand the style of writing that a particular author used to communicate God's message. When we understand what the human author was trying to do, we can better understand what God is trying to say to us.

The word of God nourishes our faith and gives us strength. All members of the Church are urged to hear God's word and carry the good news to others.

  • What does it mean that the writings of the Bible are inspired?
  • When do you hear God's Word at Mass?
  • How does the Word of God make your faith stronger?

Correlation to Faith First© 

Faith First Grade 4, Chapter 2, pp. 20-27
Faith First Grade 5, Chapter 2, pp. 20-27
Faith First Grade 6, Chapter 2, pp. 20-27

The Gospel in Life

How can you spend time listening to God's Word this week?

Posted in: Sessions A