Junior High Session
Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18
Let us pray.
just as Jesus was transfigured,
may we be transformed this Lent.
Change our hearts
so that we may love more generously.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.
Opening Life Reflection
The season of Lent is a time of growth and change. Prayer helps us to grow and deepen our relationship with God. During the season of Lent we follow the example of Jesus by spending time in prayer, fasting, and by sharing God’s love with others in meaningful ways. Today’s session will focus on prayer.
Begin the session by inviting the youngsters to reflect on the importance of prayer in their lives. Discuss:
- Do you think that it is important to pray? Explain.
- What are some ways that you can pray?
- What helps you to pray?
Allow time for discussion. Prayer is taking time to communicate with God. Prayer has the power to change our lives as we grow in our relationships with God and one another. When we spend time in prayer we get in touch with the profound love that God has for us.
Listening to the Word of God
In the Old Testament reading listen to God make a promise to Abraham.
Read Genesis 15:5-12, 17-18.
Allow for silence.
Scripture Discussion Starters
- Describe the promise that God makes to Abraham.
- What does Abraham bring to the Lord?
- What happens to Abraham when the sun was about to set?
In today’s Gospel listen to find out what happens while Jesus prays.
Read Luke 9:28-36.
Allow for silence.
- Where does Jesus go to pray?
- Who goes with Jesus?
- What happens to Jesus while he prays?
- What does Peter ask of Jesus?
- Explain the message from the voice in the cloud.
Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the readings.
In the Old Testament reading Abraham puts his faith in the Lord. God makes a covenant with Abraham, promising him both land and descendants. The covenant is sealed with an ancient ritual during which Abraham falls into a kind of trance. Then God appears in a blazing torch to show him that God will enter into relationship with Abraham and his descendants.
The setting for the Transfiguration account found in Luke’s Gospel is a special time of prayer, which indicates that something important is going to happen. And something awesome does happen–Jesus is revealed in all his glory. Peter and his companions are mesmerized by what they see. They even contrive a plan to make the moment last. We can understand why Peter and the other disciples want to savor the moment. After all, the transfiguration of Jesus has revealed to them just who was in their midst–Jesus Christ the Son of God.
Today’s Gospel affirms Jesus’ identity as God’s Son, the Chosen One. And Jesus’ glorious Transfiguration sheds light on things to come, ultimately Jesus’ victory over death. For us as followers of Jesus, the transfiguration also gives insight into our own capacity for Divine life, as baptized people who share in the identity of Jesus.
Questions for Deeper Reflection
- Have you ever wanted a wonderful experience to last forever?
- How does this reading reveal the Divinity of Jesus?
- As a baptized Christian how do you share in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus?
[If you are not going to continue with the doctrinal discussion, proceed with the Gospel in Life.]
Doctrinal Discussion Starters
The season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday when the Church brings into focus Jesus’ teaching on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Today’s Old Testament and gospel readings emphasize prayer with the trance of Abraham and the transfiguration of Jesus while he is praying. It is through prayer that we encounter Jesus. When we come to know Jesus more deeply, we grow in awareness of our union with God.
The Church is rooted in a deep tradition of prayer. The three basic types of prayer are spoken, meditative and contemplative. Spoken prayer uses words that are recited or sung. Examples are the Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary, litanies, liturgical texts and so on. Meditative prayer may begin with spoken prayer but then it moves on to an imaginative reflective process. An example is guided meditation. Contemplative prayer may begin with meditation, but then it moves further away from the self and into a more complete union with God. This type of prayer is ultimately a gift. Contemplative prayer comes out of a desire to be still in the awareness of God’s love.
- How can prayer affect your life?
- Which type of prayer are you drawn to?
- What are some obstacles to prayer?
- During the season of Lent how can you overcome your obstacles to prayer?
The Gospel in Life
Choose one of the types of prayer that you feel drawn to at this time and pray that type of prayer each day during Lent.
Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition
At Home Family Guide, theme 26
Junior High, Mystery of God, chapter 7
Blest Are We
Grade 7, chapter 8
Grade 8, chapter 16