Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, Junior High

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Junior High Session
1 Kings 19:4-8
John 6:41-51

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
O God, Jesus promises us that he is the bread of life.
Nourish us with the bread of life in the Eucharist
and help us to recognize that Jesus is always with us.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Opening Life Reflection
The theme for today is the celebration of the Eucharist. For today's session bring in breads that represent different parts of the world. (Some examples: Irish Soda Bread, Pita or Flat Bread from the Middle East, tortillas, etc.) Invite the young people to taste the bread and discuss how important bread is to people throughout the world. As you break the bread and share it, you may want to share what you know about the people who come from that part of the world. Discuss:

• Why is bread important to all people everywhere?
• Can you recall some other scripture stories where bread is important?
• When did Jesus share bread with his friends?

Allow time for discussion. The sharing of bread reminds us how important food is. Sharing in the Eucharist strengthens our friendship with Jesus and with one another.

Listening to the Word of God
In the first reading from 1 Kings, listen to learn how important food is for Elijah.

Read 1 Kings: 19:4-8.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

* What does the angel tell Elijah?
* What does Elijah do?
* How important is food and water for Elijah?

In the gospel listen to hear what Jesus says about "living bread."

Read John 6:41-51.
Allow for silence.

• What does Jesus say about himself?
• Why are the people questioning what Jesus says about himself?
• What does Jesus mean when he says he is the bread of life?

Scripture Background

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

In last week's gospel, and again this week, John tells us of Jesus trying to explain to the people that he was the bread of life, and all that meant. Yet, with the 20/20 vision of hindsight, it is not until the Last Supper that we begin to realize what that means.

When Jesus instituted the Eucharist at the Last Supper, he knew full well that suffering and death awaited him, and his words and actions anticipated the sacrifice of the cross by which his body and blood would truly be "given up" for us. When we celebrate the Eucharist, we recall-in obedience to his command, "Do this in remembrance of me"-what Jesus said and did on this occasion.

Questions for Deeper Reflection
• Why do we share bread and wine at Mass?
• What does it mean that we actually share in Jesus' body and blood?
• How is Jesus the bread of life for you personally?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starter
The Celebration of the Eucharist
When we celebrate the Eucharist we remember and share in the Paschal Mystery: the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. By sharing in the Eucharist we are joined together with Jesus and with one another. The Eucharist is the center of our Christian life.

We celebrate the Eucharist at Mass. We share stories of our faith and share in the Body and Blood of Christ. In the celebration of the Eucharist the Church believes that Jesus Christ is present in the people who are gathered, in the priest, in the sacred scripture, and in the bread and wine. By the power of the Holy Spirit the bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ. Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist.

• What happens at Mass to remind you that Jesus is with you?
• Why does Jesus call himself the bread of life?
• When and where do you recognize Jesus in others?

The Gospel in Life
How can you share bread with those who are hungry this week?

Posted in: Sessions B