First Sunday of Lent, Year B, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session

Genesis 9:8-15

Mark 1:12-15

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.

Loving God, our baptism calls us to live as your children.

During the season of Lent, help us to look at our actions

to see how well we are living up to the call of our Baptism.

In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

The main topic for today is Baptismal Covenant. To begin, draw the outline of a rainbow on a large sheet of poster paper. Brainstorm with the children where they find signs of new life and God’s unending love. Write down their responses within the lines of the rainbow. Discuss:


• When have you experienced a new beginning?
• What helps give you hope when things get tough?
• Where do you find signs of God’s unending love?

Allow time for discussion. God promises to love us with a love that is everlasting. Even if we turn away, God invites us to start new.

Listening to the Word of God
In the Old Testament reading, listen to how Noah is given a sign of God’s unending love.

Read Genesis 9:8-15.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

• Who comes out of the ark with Noah?

• What sign of unending love does God give Noah?

• What does God promise?

In the gospel today listen to find out where the Spirit leads Jesus.

Read Mark 1:12-15.

Allow for silence.

• Where does the Spirit lead Jesus?

• What happens to Jesus in the wilderness?

• How long is Jesus tempted in the wilderness?

• Who helps Jesus?

Scripture Background

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

In the first reading God’s people are given a glorious sign of God’s unending love. The story of Noah and the flood shows the sinfulness of all of creation. God’s judgment comes upon everyone and everything. Like the forty days of Lent, forty days of flooding rains are needed to purify the earth. In today’s passage, Noah, his family, and every living creature leave the ark and experience a wondrous sign of God’s faithful love. The rainbow is a sign of the covenant that God makes between Noah, every living creature, and all future generations. God promises that a flood shall never again destroy the earth.

Today’s gospel gives us a short account of Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness. Mark’s account of the temptation of Jesus is brief because in Mark’s gospel the temptation of Jesus and his struggle against Satan continue throughout his public ministry. The forty days that Jesus spends in the wilderness with the wild beasts is transformed by God’s blessing. The Spirit leads Jesus into the wilderness and the angels are sent to help him. Jesus comes back from the desert ready to start his public ministry. He urgently proclaims his message to the people, repent and believe in the good news.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

• How can you show respect and care for God’s creation?

• When are you tempted to turn away from God’s ways?

• What helps you to do the right thing?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
Baptismal Covenant
The covenant between God and his people is everlasting. Throughout sacred history God has kept the promise of unending love for us. God first reaches out to us in love. We believe that God invites people into a relationship, again and again saving them, no matter how many times they turn away or forget.

In response to God’s invitation, we are called to love God in return. Christians enter into a committed relationship with God in Christ, through the sacrament of baptism. Through baptism we become part of the people of God and are called to live a life “worthy of the gospel,” rejecting sin and living by faith. Baptism joins us to Christ and his Church, calling us into mission. Baptism calls us to live as children of God. Our baptism challenges us to live lives of witness and service. We are called to be Christ for one another, to forgive and be peacemakers.

• What do you know about your baptism?
• What are the symbols used at baptism?
• How do you share the love of Jesus with others?

Sacrament Connection
Through the sacrament of Baptism we are reborn. This rebirth takes place in water. The believer is plunged into Christ’s death. Rising from baptismal waters, the Spirit claims for us a share in the resurrection and we are made a new creation.

The Gospel in Life
How can you be a peacemaker at home and in school this week?

Posted in: Sessions B