Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year B, Junior High

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Junior High Session

2 Chronicles 36:14-16, 19-23

John 3:14-21

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.

Loving God, as we journey together toward the light of Easter,

help us to become a source of light and goodness for the world.

In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

The theme for today is Grace. To begin, divide a large sheet of poster paper into two columns. Write the titles “Dark Choices” and Choosing Light” above each column. Brainstorm with the youngsters where they see examples in society of people making choices that lead to darkness and sin. Write down their responses in the column marked “Dark Choices.” Then brainstorm where they find examples of people choosing light over darkness. Record their responses in the column marked “Choosing Light.” Discuss:

• In the movies and video games that you are exposed to, where do you find signs of darkness?

• How can you choose light over darkness in your daily life?

• What helps you to choose light over darkness?

Allow time for discussion. On our own it is sometimes difficult to choose light over darkness. We are given the gift of God’s grace to help us live in the light.

Listening to the Word of God
In the Old Testament reading, listen to how the people of Israel are given hope through the grace of God.

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 grace?

In the gospel today, listen to how Jesus’ followers are called to live in the light.

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 live in the light?

Scripture Background

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

In today’s Old Testament reading God shows mercy and compassion for the people of Israel. By the grace of God, Israel’s return from exile is made possible. The author of today’s passage presents Israel’s history in terms of the people’s covenant relationship with God. Because the people of Israel chose to turn away from their relationship with God, they have suffered disasters and misfortunes. Today’s 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 and God sent his only Son, so that the world might be saved through him. God so loved the world that he gave his only Son. 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 the Old and New Testament readings today 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 does God give second chances?

• How is the world in need of healing today?

• How does God’s grace help you to choose light over darkness?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starter
We believe that grace is God’s gift to us. It is undeserved and freely given. Grace helps us 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 to 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 choose light over darkness this week?

Posted in: Sessions B