Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session
Deuteronomy 18:15-20
Mark 1:21-28

Opening Prayer

Loving God,
Thank you for sending us many messengers. Help us listen to what they say and help us act as you want us to. We ask this through Jesus Christ, our teacher. Amen.

Opening Life Reflection

Using the skills of the children invite them to teach the group how to do a task such as sew two pieces of cloth together, tie a neck tie, or operate a yo-yo. Encourage them to be attentive to how the "teacher" proceeds and how the learner grasps the concept. Then ask:

• What did the teacher need to do in order to present this new skill?
• What did the learner need to do?
• How is this like what Jesus is telling us?

Allow time for discussion. Jesus had the authority from God to teach God's word and perform miracles. He taught his listeners and performed miracles so that all people might understand the reign of God.

Listening to the Word of God
God speaks through prophets in the Old Testament and this passage is filled with good news.

Read Deuteronomy 18:15-20.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

• Who has authority in this passage?
• What does God promise?
• What is God's warning?

Listen to the gospel to find out how Jesus uses his authority.

Read Mark 1:21-28.
Allow for silence.

• What was Jesus doing in this gospel passage?
• What did the people think about the words of Jesus?
• What did Jesus do that showed the people his authority?

Scripture Background

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

Jesus mostly taught in synagogues and specifically in today's reading, the synagogue at Capernaum was filled with Jewish people from Galilee. The people who heard Jesus were surprised by his knowledge and authority. He especially surprised them when he cast out an evil spirit from one of the men. The evil spirit was the only one to realize Jesus' true identity, and the spirit called him "the Holy One of God." The people didn't understand this meaning, but they were impressed by Jesus' deeds. They brought others to Jesus for healing.

Questions for Deeper Reflection
• How do you think people reacted to Jesus' words and actions?
• How can we be free just by trusting in Jesus?
• How does Jesus continue to speak to us today and teach us how to live?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
Jesus is prophet, teacher and Lord.
Jesus mediates between us and God just as prophets of the Old Testament mediated for God and the Israelites. Jesus is different from other prophets, however, in that he is the Word of God made flesh. He is the ultimate Word of God. Jesus is also a teacher because he is God's Son and can fully express and reveal God to humanity. We must obey Jesus because he teaches with God's complete authority. We know Jesus teaches not only with words but with his actions. Jesus is truly a model of holiness.

We understand the divinity of Jesus and know that he is "Lord." Jesus is given the same power, honor, and glory that is due God. Because Jesus saves us from sin and wins a place for us in the kingdom of God, his name is above all others.

• How do we know that Jesus is prophet, teacher, and Lord?
• Why is it important that we recognize these three descriptions of Jesus?
• Why do you think God wanted Jesus to live among people?

Sacrament Connection
Through the Eucharist we know that Jesus is always with us. The bread and the wine of Jesus' holy meal become his Body and Blood. In the sacrament of Eucharist we know that God is with us through Jesus, and we must always listen to and obey the words Jesus gave us. We know God through Jesus and every time we receive Eucharist, we know Jesus is with us as prophet, teacher and Lord.

The Gospel in Life
Jesus had the power to drive out an evil spirit. Think of one thing you can do this week to help drive out evil in some area of your life.

Posted in: Sessions B