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Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, Primary

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Primary Session
Matthew 7:21-27

Opening Prayer
Let us Pray,
Dear God, thank you for loving us and for giving us Jesus. You are the rock in our lives. Help us build our lives on the solid foundation of your love. When troubling storms come, we will be safe. Give us courage and help us always to trust in you. In Jesus’ name we ask this and all things. Amen.

Opening Life Activity
Draw a house as it sits on the ground, but use a negative film image in your illustration. Let the outline of your house be white with the background filled in with black and gray tones. As you describe your house consider the points below:
• Look at the black areas inside the house. What causes storms inside your home?
• Consider the black areas surrounding your house. What happens in your neighborhood, school, community, or in the world that causes storms?
• How will the foundation of your house stand up under the threat of these storms?

Listening to the Word of God
Using an example of building a house on sandy soil, Jesus shows how our world may fall apart in stormy times if we don’t have a solid foundation of trust in God. To put our faith on solid ground, we must “do” the words of God, not just “hear” them.

Read Matthew 7:21-27
Allow for Silence

• Why, according to Jesus, is it not enough to just hear the word of God?
• What kinds of things do you think Jesus had in mind when he talked about foundations of sand?
• What did Jesus have in mind when he talked about building our house on rock? What is our house? What is the rock?

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

Today’s scripture from Matthew concludes Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. In the verses before these, Jesus turns around the ideas people have about what is important. In his conclusion, he explains that it is not enough to say we believe the word of God. We must also live and act according to the words. To simply say we believe, is like building our house on sand. This would be foolish because when the rains come, the house would shift and break away from its loose foundation. But if our actions demonstrate our sincere belief in God and our faith is built on a firm foundation, such as a house built on rock, we will be strong when the storms of life come.

Questions for Deeper Reflection
• Do you know someone whose faith is built on “rock”? What storms have you seen them survive?
• How do you show others that you believe in Jesus?
• Who helps you have faith in Jesus? How do they help you “build your house on rock”?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
How we stand before God

God loves us and gives us the grace to return that love. This helps us be in the right relationship with God. God also gives us the free will to accept his love. By loving God, we try to show our love in our actions. We want to do what God wants us to. It is not enough to just talk about loving God. Our actions do the real talking.

• Why do you think God lets us choose to show our love by our actions?
• What do you think our lives would be like if we didn’t accept God’s love?
• What are some actions we could do to be in a right relationship with God?

Sacrament Connection
Our relationship in God’s family begins at the time of our baptism. When we are baptized we receive the gift of God’s grace through the Holy Spirit. We become holy and graced at our baptism, but at the same time, we are challenged to walk in the light of Christ. To do this we must take action. Our very deeds, and not just our words, must show that we are children of God.

The Gospel in Life
Is any part of your relationship with Jesus built on sand? Is there something you know you need to change in the way you act toward someone else? Let your actions show God’s love and improve the foundation of your faith.

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Posted in: Sessions A