Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year A, junior high

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Junior High Session

Acts 6:1-7
John 14:1-12

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Lord Jesus, you lead the way to truth and life.
Help us to grow in friendship with you each day.
It is in your name that we pray.



Opening Life Reflection

The theme for today is our baptismal call to love and serve the Lord. For today’s session bring in pebbles or small rocks and put them in the center of the meeting space. To begin, invite the youngsters to reflect on times when they may have felt confused, sad or alone. After a moment of silence explain that God is present with them in times of difficulty. With God’s loving presence, we are never completely alone.

Invite the youngsters to come forward and take a pebble or rock from the center of the room and put it in their pocket. The stone is a reminder that Jesus is always with us, showing us the way. Discuss:

  • Where do you turn in times of difficulty?
  • What helps remind you of Jesus’ love and friendship?
  • How can growing in friendship with Jesus help us to love our neighbor?

Allow time for discussion. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Those who are baptized in Christ are called to love and serve the Lord.


Listen to the Word of God

In the first reading from Acts of the Apostles, listen to how the disciples are called to serve the Lord.

Read Acts 6:1-7.

Allow for silence.


Scripture Discussion Starters

  • Why do the twelve disciples call the whole community together?
  • Why do they lay hands over those who are going out to serve others?
  • How does the word of God continue to spread?

In the Gospel today, listen to Jesus reassure his followers that they will not be left alone.

Read John 14:1-12.

Allow for silence.

  • How does Jesus reassure his followers that they will not be left alone?
  • What does Jesus tell the others about his Father’s house?
  • How does Jesus encourage his followers to continue his work?


Scripture Background

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

Today’s first reading from Acts describes the spread of the Gospel from Jerusalem to Samaria and beyond. As the number of Christians grows, the disciples experience tension between the ministries of spreading the word and helping those in need. The twelve disciples gather the community together to help resolve the conflict. They come up with a solution that supports both ministries. The apostles lay hands on those who are chosen for service. The Church has come to understand today’s passage as pointing to ordained ministry, where service to the community is empowered by the laying on of hands.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus reassures his followers that they will not be left alone. The disciples are troubled and they want to know where Jesus is going. Jesus consoles his friends, telling them that they have a place in his Father’s house. In this Gospel, the departure of Jesus is not seen as a loss. Jesus will return and take his followers with him. There will be room enough for everyone in God’s eternal presence.

This Gospel passage provides encouragement for the disciples, and it makes the point that all believers are called to take action and continue the work of Jesus in the world.


Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • How did the twelve disciples help resolve a conflict?
  • How do followers of Jesus find strength to go out and serve others?
  • Who are the people you know who serve others in the community?

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


Doctrinal Discussion Starters

The Sacrament of Holy Orders and the Common Priesthood of the Baptized

Jesus Christ is the one high priest, and his ministry is accomplished as a servant. Jesus was sent by the Father to serve the needs of the world and to bring about our salvation.

Jesus is with us always. He sends the Holy Spirit upon all members of the Church. All the faithful are made holy by Baptism. By our Baptism we share in the priesthood of Jesus Christ. We are called and empowered to continue the work of Jesus in the world.

The ordained priesthood exists to assist and serve the full flowering of the baptismal call of all. The center and high point of the ministerial priesthood is the celebration of the Eucharist.

  • What kind of a leader was Jesus?
  • How does your Baptism empower you to serve others?
  • Why is Eucharist the center of ordained priesthood?


The Gospel in Life

How can you continue the work of Jesus in your community this week?

Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition

At Home Family Guide, theme 27
Junior High, Church and Sacraments, chapter 12
Junior High, Jesus in the New Testament, chapter 5



Posted in: Sessions A