Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, intermediate

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Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Loving God,
let your light shine through our actions
so that all the world can see your goodness and love.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

The topic for today is the social teaching of the Church. To begin, invite the children to draw pictures of them bringing light into the world’s darkness. Provide paper, pencils and markers. Discuss:

  • Where does darkness exist in the world?
  • Where do you find light and goodness in the world?
  • How can you be a source of light for the world?

Allow time for discussion. The Church’s social teaching reminds us that as followers of Christ we are called to be the light of the world.


Listening to the Word of God

In the Old Testament reading listen to how God’s people are called to care for the poor.

Read Isaiah 58:7-10.

Allow for silence.


Scripture Discussion Starters

  • Why are the people called to care for the poor?
  • How do the people become a light shining in the darkness?
  • How will those who help the hungry and poor be rewarded?

In today’s Gospel listen to Jesus tell his followers that they are the light of the world.

Read Matthew 5:13-16.

Allow for silence.

  • What does Jesus tell his followers about being the light of the world?
  • How do Jesus’ followers let their light shine?
  • What happens when Jesus’ followers let their light shine in the world?


Scripture Background

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

The first reading from the Old Testament makes it clear how the people of God are to live. The message is to live with a concern for others, especially the poor. Those who do this will be like a light shining in the darkness and the glory of God will be with them. Today’s passage stresses the call of God’s chosen people to be a force for good in the world. God wants to eliminate the suffering of the poor. God’s people are given instruction to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless and clothe the naked. These actions please God and result in light dawning for the entire nation.

The theme of light shining in the darkness is also found in today’s Gospel. Jesus tells his followers to let their light shine. Jesus’ disciples let their light shine by becoming a force for good and love in the world.

Today’s Gospel encourages followers of Jesus to live with a concern for the poor. When action is taken on behalf of those in need, the light of God’s presence shines in the world. God’s love transforms the world. Disciples of Jesus are called to spread the light of God’s love and make the world a better place.


Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • How are God’s people called to live in the world?
  • Why is God pleased when we take action to feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and clothe the naked?
  • How can you get involved in actions that bring the light of God’s presence into the world?

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


Doctrinal Discussion Starters

The Social Teaching of the Church: Preferential Option for the Poor

The Church has always been concerned with the problems and injustices that exist in society. Out of a concern for the dignity of the human person and the rights of all human beings the Catholic Church developed a detailed social teaching.

An important part of the Church’s social teaching is the preferential option for the poor. The preferential option for the poor is a commitment to care for the poor and work to alleviate poverty. This teaching calls us to make decisions with the poor and oppressed in mind. The needs and concerns of the poor should be given priority over others.

When we work to eliminate the causes of poverty, and when we take action to improve the living conditions of the poor and oppressed, we truly become salt of the earth and light for the world.

  • Why is the Church concerned with the problems of the poor?
  • What is an important part of the Church’s social teaching?
  • What groups and organizations do you know of that work to alleviate poverty?


Faith First©

Faith First© At Home Family Guide                                  theme 13
Faith First© Grade 4                                                        chapter 22
Faith First© Grade 5                                                        chapter 23
Faith First© Grade 6                                                        chapter 22


The Gospel in Life

This week find out how you can help support a group or organization that works to alleviate poverty.

Posted in: Sessions A