Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year B, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session

2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23

John 3:14-21

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.

God, Father and Creator,

We thank you for all the gifts you have given us, especially the gift of grace.

Show us how to use the gifts you have given us to help others.

In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

The theme for today is Grace. To begin provide each child with a white pillar candle and permanent markers or puffy paints. Invite the children to create a candle to represent the light of Easter. Using words or images, invite the children to design their own Easter candle. Discuss:

• How can your words or actions bring light to others?
• What helps you avoid making choices that lead to darkness and sin?
• How can your Easter candle remind you to live in God’s light?

Allow time for discussion. Sometimes we need help to make good choices and live in God’s light. God’s gift of grace helps us to overcome darkness and sin. We are called to live as children of light.

Listening to the Word of God
In the Old Testament reading today listen to how God shows love and compassion for the people of Israel.

Read 2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

• How do the people choose darkness over light?

• How does God show compassion for the people?

• How is the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem a sign of God’s mercy and love?

In the gospel today listen to how Jesus’ followers are called to choose light over darkness.

Read John 3:14-21.

Allow for silence.

• Why did God send Jesus into the world?

• What will happen to those who believe in Jesus?

• How are Jesus’ followers called to choose light over darkness?

Scripture Background

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

In the Old Testament reading God shows mercy and compassion for the people of Israel. By God’s grace, Israel’s return from exile is made possible. Because the people of Israel chose to turn away from their relationship with God, they suffered disasters and misfortunes. This passage shows that God does not forget the chosen people. Permission to return to the land and to rebuild the temple is a sign of God’s grace and reconciliation.

Today’s gospel reveals why God sent Jesus into the world. The world is in need of healing so God sent his only Son, so that the world might be saved through him. God sent Jesus to give eternal life to all those who believe in him. This gospel makes clear that it is our choice to either believe in or reject Jesus. We bring judgment upon ourselves by choosing darkness rather than light. Both Old and New Testament readings remind us that God is merciful and kind. God’s grace makes living in the light possible for all believers.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

• Why doesn’t God forget the people of Israel?

• How did God show love for the world?

• How can we show that we believe in Jesus?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
We believe that grace is God’s gift to us. It is undeserved and freely given. Grace helps us to respond to God who calls us to live as his children. As children of God, God’s own divine nature and eternal life are part of us. Grace is our participation in the life of God. God’s gift of grace helps us live as children of God.
God’s tremendous love for us and the many graces we have received, cannot be measured. We are led by grace to praise God and offer thanks.

• What is grace?
• What does God’s gift of grace help us to do?
• How can you offer God thanks and praise?

Sacrament Connection
Through the Sacrament of Baptism, we become members of Christ’s body, the Church. We are joined to Jesus Christ and to God the Father. By grace we are gifted with the life of the Spirit. The grace we are given in baptism makes us holy, and heals us of sin.

The Gospel in Life
How can you bring the light of Christ to others this week?

Posted in: Sessions B