Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session
Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19
Luke 4:21-30


Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
God of goodness, help us to see the world with your eyes.
Give us the courage to stand up for what is good and right.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.


Opening Life Reflection

The theme for today’s session is our identity as prophets. To begin the session share the story of a young boy named Craig Kielburger. Craig is a young teen who speaks out against the practice of slave labor for children around the world. He is the founder of “Free the Children,” an international organization whose mission is to free children from poverty and exploitation and empower young people to become leaders. When he was 12 years of age, Craig read about the murder of a child from Pakistan who was sold into bondage as a carpet weaver. Now Craig travels worldwide visiting children and speaking out in defense of children’s rights.

  • How does the story about Craig inspire you?
  • Who do you admire for standing up for what is good and just in the face of difficulty?

Allow time for discussion. A prophet is someone who stands up for what is good and right. A prophet sees with the eyes of God. We could say that Craig Kielburger is a prophet in the world today. By our baptism we too are called to be prophets.


Listening to the Word of God

In the Old Testament reading listen to God call the prophet Jeremiah.
Read Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19.
Allow for silence.


Scripture Discussion Starters

  • How does God call the prophet Jeremiah?
  • What does God ask him to do?
  • What does God tell the prophet to give him courage?

In the Gospel today, the people reject Jesus. Listen to what Jesus has to say.
Read Luke 4:21-30.

Allow for silence.

  • What does Jesus say about what he reads from the scriptures?
  • How do the people react to what Jesus has to say?
  • Why do the people reject Jesus?
  • How does Jesus respond?


Scripture Background

Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the readings.

In the Old Testament reading today we hear God’s call of an individual to be a prophet. The call begins with God who knows the prophet even before he is born. Being born a prophet does not come without cost. The reading warns that people may fight against what is good. God encourages the prophet to speak the truth, to be strong and trust in God. God promises to give the prophet strength to stand up against all adversaries. This reading points out the call of God and not on the response of the prophet. This focuses our attention on God’s role in the encounter.

In today’s Gospel we are struck by the angry response of the people to Jesus’ claim that he has come to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah. The life-giving truth that Jesus has to tell is not accepted in his hometown. At first the listeners are amazed by Jesus’ words. But they soon begin to question Jesus’ claim asking, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” Jesus makes the point that no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. In this passage Luke presents a basic truth about the prophetic ministry of Jesus. In reaching out to the Gentiles who are most in need of salvation, Jesus encountered resistance from his fellow Jews. But Jesus endured and continued steadfastly on his way. The point is that all followers of Christ are called to make what is often the unpopular choice of standing up for the outcast in the face of opposition. This is the baptismal call of the prophet. To persevere and rely on the power of God.


Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • Why is it sometimes difficult to stand up for what you believe to be right?
  • When standing up for what is right, where can you find courage and strength?
  • How would you describe a prophet?

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


Doctrinal Discussion Starters

Our Identity as Prophets

Prophets speak the word of God. In Israel’s history, prophets played a much-needed role in restoring the faith of the people. The prophets spoke on behalf of God. Some examples of Old Testament prophets are Moses, Elijah, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, and Jeremiah. God anointed Jesus for his mission as priest, prophet, and king. Jesus is the Word of God, fulfilling God’s message of love and concern for the world.

Catholics believe that through our baptism in Christ, we are called to be prophets -- to spread the good news, speak the truth, and be a force for justice and peace in the world. It is difficult to stand up for what is right and true if we do not believe in ourselves or trust in God. Our identity as prophets helps us to embrace the task of building a better world. We can work for peace, and stand up for those who are rejected with confidence that God is with us. In God we find the strength, courage, and conviction to live as prophets in the world.

  • What injustice in the world would you like to speak out against?
  • Where can you go for the help you need to take a stand for something you believe in?
  • How does your baptism help you to be a prophet in the world?


The Gospel in Life

Find out more about Craig’s organization “Free the Children.” His first book, Free The Children, was published by Harper Collins.


Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition

At Home Family Guide, theme 24
Grade 4, chapter 23
Grade 5, chapter 9
Grade 6, chapter 3


Blest Are We
Grade 4, chapter 1
Grade 5, chapter 9
Grade 6, chapter 1


Posted in: Sessions C