Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, Primary

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Primary Session
John 6:1-15

Opening Prayer

Together let us pray the Lord's Prayer.
Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name;
Thy kingdom come;
Thy will be done on earth
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Opening Life Reflection
The main theme for today is Unity of the Church and Ecumenism. To begin, form a large circle and invite the children to imagine that they are going on a picnic. Go around the circle and invite the children to say what they will bring to the picnic using each letter of the alphabet, starting with A. Discuss:

• What do you think of when you hear the word picnic?
• Why is food important for a picnic?
• How is sharing food a sign of friendship?

Allow time for discussion. God has given us so many good things. As members of God's family we are to share what we have with others.

Listening to the Word of God
In today's gospel listen to find out what happens when Jesus sees a hungry crowd.

Read John 6:1-15.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters
• Why are so many people following Jesus?
• Why does Jesus want to feed the hungry crowd?
• What happens when Jesus blesses the five loaves of bread and two fish?

Scripture Background

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

In today's gospel Jesus feeds a hungry crowd. Many people are following Jesus because of what he has been saying and doing. They have seen him heal the sick and they want to hear his preaching. Jesus sees the large crowd and he wants to give them what they need. The people are hungry and they need to be fed. Jesus asks his disciples to find food for the people. A boy in the crowd offers his five barley loaves and two fish. Jesus miraculously multiplies the loaves and fish, and the hungry people are given more than enough to eat.

Before feeding the people, Jesus takes the bread, blesses it, and shares it. These words and actions of Jesus are similar to Jesus' actions at the Last Supper. The miracle of the loaves and fishes in this gospel shows that Jesus is the Bread of Life.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

• Why did Jesus feed the hungry crowd?
• How can followers of Jesus help to feed hungry people today?
• How can you share with others?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
Unity of the Church and Ecumenism
Catholics believe that we are all members of the one family of God. Together we form the one body in Christ. As the Body of Christ we unite with one another and with Jesus to continue the work of Jesus on earth. We feed the hungry and help those in need. Ecumenism seeks to bring all Christians together to form the unity that Christ wants for his Church on earth.

• What does it mean to be a member of the one family of God?
• How do we help care for all the members of God's family?
• How can you bring God's love and care to someone in need?

Sacrament Connection
The miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fish is connected with our belief in the Eucharist. We believe that Jesus is really present with us and nourishes us in the Eucharist. Jesus is the "bread of life".

The Gospel in Life
This week discuss with your family how you can learn more about helping hungry children throughout the world.

Posted in: Sessions B