Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year B, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session
Acts 1:15-17, 20a, 20c-26
John 17:11b-19

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
God who loves us, show us the way to let go of worldly things. Help us see our way clearly to serve others and show them your love by our actions. We pray this in Jesus’ name.

Opening Life Reflection

Have children imagine that they and their family are leaving home for an unknown destination. They will not be returning. Explain that they are permitted to bring five possessions. Make a list of these possessions and then ask:
• Why did you choose each of the items you did?
• What would you decide to pack if you could only take one thing? Why?
• Would I have helped you if you could have talked over your choices with someone else?

Listening to the Word of God
Early in the Acts of the Apostles, the Apostles replace Judas.

Read Acts 1:15-17, 20a, 20c-26
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

• Why was it necessary to choose one more Apostle?
• How did the Apostles go about making their choices?
• What can we learn from the Apostles about making our own decisions?

We hear in today’s Gospel Jesus praying for God to direct the Apostles.

Read John 17:11b-19
Allow for silence.

• What does Jesus want God to do to help the disciples?
• What job do the disciples have before them?
• Why is it so important for the disciples to stick together?

Scripture Background

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

In the first reading, all the Apostles have gathered to make a decision. They need to replace the missing Apostle, Judas. Working together, they come up with two choices and pray over them asking God to help them decide on one.

It is clear in today’s Gospel that Jesus knows he is about to return to God. Jesus wants to be sure that the disciples will continue the work he began so he prays to God asking to seal and strengthen the disciples for this job.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

• If you were one of the disciples, what do you think your responsibility would have been in this prayer?
• What do you think your responsibility is today?
• Why is it important for all Christians to be unified?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
The Church has a particular mission and order of leadership.
Jesus entrusts the mission of the Church to the Apostles and he prays to God asking that God help them in their work. Jesus asks God to protect them in a specific way so that they might know the truth and be guarded from anyone or anything that would prevent them from doing this work. These Apostles, then, were the first leaders of the Church. These leaders, and those who follow them to this very day, are included in Jesus’ prayer that they might proclaim the faith and work toward bringing about the Kingdom of God. All those who come after Jesus, the Apostles and leaders through the ages down to our own, hand on the words, beliefs, and faith initiated by Christ. All leaders of the Church are called to lead as servants of others, just as Jesus was a servant to all. Every one of us who believes in Jesus, shares in the mission of the Church and has responsibility to pass on that faith.

• How can you help show God’s love to others?
• What do you have in common with the Apostles?
• How do you see leaders of the Church serving others?

Sacrament Connection
One of the Church’s seven sacraments is “Holy Orders.” In this sacrament, priests are ordained to carry out the mission of the Church begun by Jesus. These priests are called to serve others, to pass on the faith and teachings of Jesus, to guide and lead the faithful followers of Jesus, and to show them God’s love. In this way, priests help bring about the Kingdom of God on earth.

The Gospel in Life
Is there a worry or challenge you have that you can take to God in prayer this week?

Posted in: Sessions B