First Sunday of Lent, Year A, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session
Genesis 2:7-9, 3:1-7
Matthew 4:1-11


Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Loving God,
turn our hearts to you this Lenten season.
Thank you for always loving us.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

On this First Sunday of Lent the theme is Divine Election. To begin, brainstorm with the children what it is like to be chosen to be a member of a team or group. Discuss:

  • What are some teams or groups that you would like to belong to?
  • What does it mean to belong to God’s family?
  • How has God chosen you?

Allow time for discussion. By our Baptism we become members of God’s family. Divine Election calls us to live in loving relationship with God. During the season of Lent we are reminded to make decisions that show our love for God.


Listening to the Word of God

In the Old Testament reading listen to how God created the first human beings.

Read Genesis 2:7-9, 3:1-7.

Allow for silence.


Scripture Discussion Starters

  • How does God create the first human beings?
  • What does God plant in the garden?
  • How do the human beings disobey God?
  • What happens to the man and woman after they eat the forbidden fruit?

Listen to the Gospel reading to hear how Jesus resists the devil’s temptations.

Read Matthew 4:1-11.

Allow for silence.

  • Where does Jesus go for forty days and forty nights?
  • How does the devil tempt Jesus?
  • How does Jesus resist the devil’s temptation?


Scripture Background

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

Today’s first reading from the Old Testament details the temptation of the first man and woman in the Garden of Eden. The first human being is brought to life by the breath of God, showing the creature’s full dependence on God the Creator. The garden, created by the hand of God, is a setting of beauty and nourishment for the human being.

Today’s passage is classically known as “the fall” because the man and woman give in to temptation. They disobey God’s command and eat the forbidden fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The result is an immediate realization of shame. The man and woman distance themselves from the love of God.

Today’s Gospel story shows God’s loving relationship with human beings restored. Jesus does not give in to temptation like the first man and woman. Each temptation that Jesus undergoes in the desert--hunger, testing God, and idolatry--are temptations suffered by the Chosen People during their wandering in the wilderness after the Exodus. With the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit, Jesus overcomes the obstacles placed before him by the devil. Today’s gospel reveals how God has entered our history of sin and changed it.


Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • How is God’s love and forgiveness shown in today’s readings?
  • How can the story of Jesus’ temptations in the desert help us deal with temptation?
  • How do today’s readings relate to the season of Lent?

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


Doctrinal Discussion Starters

Divine Election

All human beings are called to communion with God. We are called to a loving relationship with God our creator. The Church teaches that this loving relationship is a vital bond that is initiated and sustained by God. However, God created us with the freedom to make our own choices and sometimes we choose to sin and reject this divine call.

God, however, refuses to give up on us. God sent Jesus to redeem humanity from sin. Through his victory over the temptations in the desert and his surrender on the cross, Jesus shows the right response to Divine Election.

God continues to love the world in spite of sin. Divine Election calls us to go forth into the world, as Jesus was sent, to be a living sign of hope and love.

  • What are all human beings called to?
  • Why does God always love us?
  • How can you be a sign of hope and love in the world?


The Gospel in Life

What can you do to show your love for God this week?


Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition

At Home Family Guide, theme 26
Grade 4, page 251 parish and page 359 school
Grade 5, page 251 parish and page 359 school
Grade 6, page 251 parish and page 359 school

Posted in: Sessions A