Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session
1 Kings 3:5, 7-12
Matthew 13:44-52

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
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.
Amen. (Lord’s Prayer)

Opening Life Reflection

The theme for today is the Kingdom of God. Provide pencils and fish shapes cut out of construction paper for the children. Explain that the fish has long been a Christian symbol for discipleship. The early Christians used the symbol of the fish to recognize who was a follower of Jesus. Invite the children to write on their fish one way that they show others that they follow Jesus. Discuss:

  • Why is the fish a Christian symbol?
  • How do you show others that you are a follower of Jesus?
  • Why do you follow Jesus?

Allow time for discussion. Jesus promises that all those who follow him and love God will live forever with God in heaven. The Kingdom of God is a place of eternal happiness with God.

Listening to the Word of God

In the Old Testament reading, listen to learn how Solomon pleases God.

Read 1 Kings 3:5, 7-12.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

  • How does Solomon please God?
  • What does Solomon ask of God?
  • Why does God bless Solomon?

In this gospel, Jesus tells three parables. Listen to hear what Jesus teaches about the kingdom of God.

Read Matthew 13:44-52.
Allow for silence.

  • How does Jesus teach about the Kingdom of God?
  • What do the first two parables reveal about the kingdom of heaven?
  • What does the third parable teach about what will happen at the end of time?

Scripture Background

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

In the first reading from the Old Testament God appears to Solomon in a dream. Solomon hears God say, “Ask something of me and I will give it to you.” Although he could have asked for anything, Solomon does not ask for riches, long life, or revenge against his enemies. Instead, Solomon asks God for an understanding mind so he can be a good and wise king for God’s people. Solomon’s request is very pleasing to God. God grants Solomon many blessings.

In today’s gospel, Jesus continues to teach about the Kingdom of God with parables. Each of the three stories in today’s passage reveals something about God’s kingdom. The man who finds the buried treasure must be willing to risk everything he has. The parable of the pearl is similar, but it is not a poor man but a rich man who seeks the treasure. This shows that God’s kingdom is available to all, rich and poor alike. The first two parables teach that the kingdom of God is so valuable that one must risk everything for it. The result is complete joy in finding what is most valuable in life.

In the final story of the fishermen hauling in the net, we once again find the presence of those who seem unfit for the kingdom. This parable teaches that God’s reign is open to rich and poor, good and bad; but at the end there will be a sorting out of those who are worthless and those who are just.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • What would you ask of God if you could ask for anything?
  • When is it difficult to follow Jesus?
  • How can following Jesus make you happy?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
The Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God is the image used in the bible to describe all people and creation living in communion with God. Jesus used parables to teach the true meaning of the Kingdom of God. Jesus announces, as he works a healing miracle, that the Kingdom of God “has come upon you” (Matthew 12:28 and Luke 11:20).

The Church understands that Jesus witnessed God’s saving love to the world. Although Jesus brought about the Kingdom of God and the kingdom is here now among us, it is not fully realized. It will come about in full when Christ comes again at the end of time. The way we live our lives here on earth can contribute to the coming of God’s kingdom. When we spread God’s love by working for peace, and helping the poor and needy, we prepare for God’s kingdom.

  • What is the kingdom of God?
  • What do you imagine heaven to be like?
  • How can you spread God’s love?

Correlation to Faith First©

Grade 4 Chapter 10, pp. 104-107
Grade 5 Chapter 10, pp. 104-105
Grade 6 Chapters 8 and 10

The Gospel in Life

What is one thing that you can do this week to work for peace?

Posted in: Sessions A