Lateran Basilica, Year A-C, Primary

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Primary Session
John 2:13-22

Opening Prayer
Let us pray.
Thank you, God, for calling us together to be your church.
Help us to love, honor and follow you.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.

Opening Life Reflection
The focus for today is the Four Marks of the Church: one, holy, catholic and apostolic. To begin the session, take the children on a tour of the church. You may choose to tour your local church building, or use the church tour found on the website as a guide.

Explore with the children the objects and furniture found in the church – the altar and pews, the ambo and lectionary, the candles, windows, statues, etc. The book “A Walk through Our Church” by Gertrud Mueller Nelson is also a good resource. Discuss:
• What did you learn from touring the church?
• What do we do in church?
• How do the objects and furnishings found in church help us to pray?

Allow time for discussion. On today’s feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica, we celebrate our freedom to pray and worship in the Catholic Church.

Listening to the Word of God
In today’s gospel, listen to find out what makes Jesus angry.

Read John 2:13-22.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters
• What does Jesus find when he arrives at the temple in Jerusalem?
• What does Jesus do?
• Why is Jesus angry?

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

On today’s feast we are reminded that the St. John Lateran Basilica is the cathedral of Rome, which is the cathedral of the bishop of Rome, the pope. The basilica dates back to the time of Constantine the Great in the 4th century, and was dedicated on November 9, in 324 A.D. Constantine was an emperor who converted to Christianity. He allowed Christians to worship in public after a long time of persecution. Therefore, today’s feast celebrates freedom of worship.

In today’s gospel Jesus is angry. He does not harm anyone, but he tips over tables and drives the animals from the temple. Jesus is angry because greedy people were using the Temple as a market place. Jesus was upset with the moneychangers because they did not show respect for a sacred place. Jesus shows us that it is okay to get angry when someone does something that is not right. Today’s gospel reminds us that our churches are sacred places.

Questions for Deeper Reflection
• What is the St. John Lateran Basilica?
• What does today’s gospel show us about Jesus?
• Why are our churches sacred places?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
The Four Marks of the Church

At Mass we gather as the People of God to give thanks and praise to God. As members of the Church we use many different words and actions to worship God and celebrate what we believe. At Mass when we pray: We believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, we show what we believe about the Church. One, holy, catholic, and apostolic, these are the four marks of the Church.

The Church of Jesus Christ is one Church because of its source, God. We who are the Church work together to be one body, as God; the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are One.

We believe the Church is holy because the people of God are one with each other and one with Christ, who sacrificed himself in order to make holy his body the Church.

We believe the Church is catholic or universal because Christ is at its head. The church reaches out to welcome the whole human family. The church’s mission is to the whole world.

The Church is apostolic because it is founded upon the apostles, whom Jesus sent out to teach in his name.

Today’s feast celebrates the universal Church which is apostolic, catholic, holy and one.

• What are the four marks of the Church?
• How do we worship God?
• How do we live as members of the Church?

The Gospel in Life
How can your words and actions this week show that you are a member of the Catholic Church?

Posted in: Sessions A , Sessions B , Sessions C