Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, Year B, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session
Exodus 24:3-8
Mark 14:12-16, 22-26

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Thank you, God, for the gift of Jesus in the Eucharist.
May the Eucharist help us grow in our love for you and one another.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Opening Life Reflection

The topic for today is the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. To begin brainstorm with the children what family traditions they celebrate that include sharing a meal. Write down their responses. Discuss:

• What are some traditions that celebrate the love you share with family or friends?
• Why is food and drink an important part of celebrations?
• What are some traditions that celebrate our love for God?

Allow time for discussion. On today's feast of the Body and Blood of Christ we remember that Jesus celebrated a traditional Passover meal with his friends. This shared meal took on new significance when Jesus identified the bread with his body and the cup of wine with his blood.

Listening to the Word of God

In the first reading from the Old Testament listen to how Moses and the people share a ritual to celebrate their close relationship with God.

Read Exodus 24:3-8.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

• What does Moses build at the foot of the mountain?
• What ritual does Moses share with the people of Israel?
• How does Moses remind the people of their close relationship with God?

In the gospel today, listen to how the disciples prepare to celebrate the traditional Passover meal with Jesus.

Read Mark 14:12-16, 22-26.
Allow for silence.

• Where does Jesus send his disciples?
• What do they find in the city?
• How do the disciples prepare to celebrate the Passover meal with Jesus?

Scripture Background

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

The first reading from the Old Testament describes a ritual that seals the Covenant God made with Moses and the people of Israel. The importance of blood in celebrating this covenant ritual shows that the covenant is more than mere words. The sprinkling of blood on the people powerfully symbolizes that the covenant with God is a matter of life, for blood was a symbol of life.

In today's gospel Jesus helps his disciple prepare to celebrate the Passover meal. Jesus sends his friends off and foretells the details of setting up the Passover meal. This foreknowledge shows Jesus' willingness to suffer the events to come and give his life for the salvation of the world. The traditional Passover meal Jesus shares with his disciples takes on new significance when Jesus offers his blood as a sign of God's saving love. The crucifixion is the willing outpouring of Christ's lifeblood for others. Christ's self-giving death becomes the new covenant between God and humanity.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

• Why is the relationship between God and God's people a matter of life?
• What special meals do you celebrate at home?
• Why did Jesus offer his Body and Blood for us?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist
On today's feast of the Body and Blood of Christ we reflect on the Eucharistic meal and we remember the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. We proclaim our belief that "when we eat this bread and drink this cup we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus, until you come in glory" (Roman Missal, Memorial Acclamation, Eucharistic Prayer). As followers of Jesus, we carry out this command to "do this in remembrance of me" (1 Corinthians 1:24-25). In the Eucharist, we offer again the sacrifice of Jesus to the Father through the gifts of bread and wine, through the power of the Holy Spirit and the words of Christ.

When we gather in faith, God makes present Jesus, his body and blood in the bread and wine offered in the Eucharist. A substantial change takes place within the elements of bread and wine. The term the Church uses to name this belief is transubstantiation. In the Eucharist, Christ is really and truly made present. The Eucharistic celebration is a memorial of Jesus' death and resurrection. It is a sacrament of love. The Eucharist is the center of our Christian faith and life.

• What do we remember on today's feast of the Body and Blood of Christ?
• Why is the Eucharist a sacrament of love?
• What term does the Church use to name the change that takes place within the elements of bread and wine in the celebration of Eucharist?

Sacrament Connection
The Sacrament of Eucharist completes our initiation into the Body of Christ, the Church.

The Gospel in Life
How can you give thanks to Jesus this week?

Posted in: Sessions B