Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year A, junior high

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Junior High Session

1 Samuel 16:1, 6-7, 10-13
John 9:1-41


Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
God of Light, keep our eyes focused on you.
Help us to be children of light.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

The theme for today is original and social sin. To begin, invite the young people to stand in a circle and create a human web. Using a ball of yarn, have each person toss the ball across the circle to another person, holding on to a piece of the yarn. Continue tossing the yarn until a web is created in the center of the circle. Discuss:

  • In what way does the web of yarn represent life?
  • How do the actions of one person affect others?
  • How do the choices you make affect those around you?

Allow time for discussion. On this Fourth Sunday of Lent we are reminded to turn away from darkness and become children of light.


Listening to the Word of God

In the Old Testament reading today listen to how God sees beyond outward appearances.

Read 1 Samuel 16:1, 6-7, 10-13.

Allow for silence.


Scripture Discussion Starters

  • Where does God send Samuel?
  • Who is Samuel looking for?
  • Why does God choose David?

In the gospel reading today, listen to the story of Jesus and the man born blind.

Read John 9:1-41.
Allow for silence.


  • What do the disciples ask Jesus about the man who is blind from birth?
  • How does Jesus heal the man born blind?
  • What do the people in the community do when they find out that the blind man can see?
  • What do the Pharisees ask the cured man?
  • What does the reading teach about true blindness?


Scripture Background

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

In the Old Testament reading today God chooses David to be king. David’s brothers are presented to Samuel as the most likely candidates for greatness, but the Lord does not choose any of them. God chooses David, the youngest brother, because God sees beyond outward appearances and into the human heart. The people around David are blind to the young man’s potential for greatness.

God directs Samuel to anoint David, causing the spirit of the Lord to rush upon him. David is given the strength and power to shepherd God’s people as king.

In today’s gospel we hear the story of the man born blind. As Jesus and his disciples travel along they come upon a man who has been blind from birth. The disciples ask Jesus if the sins of the man or his parents caused his blindness. Jesus makes the point that the man is blind without personal fault or his parents’ responsibility.

The man is blind, which shows that darkness and sin exist in the world. Jesus cures the blind man and he comes to believe that Jesus is the light of the world. The man’s neighbors, his family, and the Pharisees refuse to accept Jesus as the light of the world. They are not able to see the truth.

In the story of the man’s healing from blindness to sight, we find someone who sees with eyes of faith. The man showed his faith in Jesus by acknowledging him as the Messiah.


Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • How does God see beyond outward appearances?
  • What does the story of the man born blind teach us about sin?
  • How are the Pharisees in the gospel story truly blind?
  • What does the gospel story teach us about seeing with eyes of faith?

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


Doctrinal Discussion Starters

Original Sin and Social Sin

God created people free to choose to live in friendship with God or turn away from God’s love. From the start of human history, humanity abused its freedom by choosing darkness over light. The term “original sin” is used to describe Adam and Eve’s fall from original holiness.

When people choose darkness over the light, the entire community is affected. Social sin is the evil that exists in the world as a result of people choosing to turn away from God.

Jesus is the light of the world. Through Jesus, humanity is freed from sin and offered salvation. Through the love and generosity of our creator we are offered healing and new life in Baptism. Although darkness and sin exist in the world, the Spirit of God helps us to choose light over the darkness.

  • What is social sin?
  • How is Jesus the “light of the world?”
  • What helps you choose light over the darkness?


The Gospel in Life

How can you choose to live as a child of light this week?

Posted in: Sessions A