Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year B, Primary

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Primary Session
John 15:1-8

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Dear God,
As members of the Body of Christ, the Church, we care for one another.
Help us work together to bring your love to others.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.

Opening Life Reflection
The topic for today is the Church as the Body of Christ. To begin, draw the outline of a human body on a sheet of poster paper or chalk board. Brainstorm with the children why each part of the body is important. Discuss:

• How do the different parts of the body work together?
• What happens when one part of the body is hurt?
• Why is the Body of Christ another name for the Church?

Allow time for discussion. The Church is the Body of Christ. Just as the many parts of the human body work together, Church members work together to bring God’s love to others.

Listening to the Word of God
In today’s gospel, listen to how Jesus tells the people that his followers are connected to him.

Read John 15:1-8.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters
• What does Jesus tell the people about the true vine?
• Who is the vine grower?
• How are Jesus’ followers like the branches?
• Who will grow and bear much fruit?

Scripture Background

Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the gospel using the Catechist Background section.
In today’s gospel Jesus uses the image of a vine and branches to show that he is joined with his followers and he helps them to grow. A vine helps the branches stay alive and grow. Jesus is the true vine and God is the vine grower. We are the branches. Together with Jesus we bear fruit by sharing our gifts with others. Apart from Jesus we can not grow and bear fruit.

The vine and branches in this gospel represent Jesus’ relationship with the Church. Jesus is the head of the Body of Christ—the Church. As members of the Church we give glory to God when we love and care for one another.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

• How does Jesus help us to grow?
• What does it mean to bear fruit?
• How can members of the Church care for one another?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
The Church as Body of Christ
Another name for the Church is the Body of Christ. The people of God are joined with Christ. We are joined to Jesus and to one another. Believers form one Body and Christ is the head. Just as the head is connected to the body, the people of God are one with Christ.

God’s loving plan draws all people into the one Body. Each member has different gifts to help build up the Church. We all are an important part of the Body of Christ, the Church. All people who are living as followers of Jesus and all believers who have died and gone before us make up the Body of Christ. The Church is the Body of Christ in the world. Members of the Church are called to bring God’s love and healing to everyone.

• Why is the Body of Christ another name for the Church?
• Who makes up the Body of Christ?
• How can members of the Church bring God’s love into the world?

Sacrament Connection
In the Sacrament of Eucharist we celebrate our unity as members of the one Body of Christ. The Eucharist unites us with the Holy Trinity and with one another.

The Gospel in Life
How can you bring God’s love to other members of the Body of Christ this week?

Posted in: Sessions B