Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year A, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session

Acts 1:12-14
John 17:1-11

 

Opening Prayer

Let us Pray.
God our Father, you glorified your Son, Jesus, who lives with you now.
Thank you for sending him to us.
Help us to always remember that we belong to him.
May we always be willing and eager to share the Good News with others.
As you did for the first disciples, give us strength and courage to show others through our words and actions, all that you would have us do to begin your Kingdom here on earth.
In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen.

Opening Life Reflection

In small groups pretend that your best friend is moving away. (Some people may really have had this happen!) Write a letter to your friend saying good-bye. What kinds of things will you say about the memories you have, the times you had together, the things that made you laugh, that made you cry? What kind of promises will you make for the future? How will you keep the memory of each other alive after miles separate you? Be as creative as you like.

  • When you finish the letter, look for similarities to the separation between Jesus and the disciples.
  • Do you see ways that we stay in touch with Jesus much the same way you would stay in touch with a friend moving away?
  • What ideas did you gain from this activity that might help you stay in touch with Jesus?

 

Listening to the Word of God

Jesus’ friends just watched him go up into the sky, hidden by a cloud. They are now returned to Jerusalem and their upper room waiting to see what happens next.

Read Acts 1:12-14

Allow for silence

Scripture Discussion Starters

  • Why do you think it was important that Luke named every person who was in the room?
  • What do you imagine the people in the room were thinking?
  • Do you think it was helpful that the apostles prayed together while they waited? Is there a time when you were helped by a group praying together?

Jesus asks God for two things in the prayer that begins this Gospel reading. First Jesus asks that he soon will return to God. Jesus also asks that God will strengthen and protect the disciples who must now carry on the mission begun by Jesus.

Read John 17:1-11

Allow for silence

  • What does Jesus mean when he says it is time for the Son of God to be glorified? What is significant about the time and the glory?
  • What is the significance of Jesus being in the world no longer, but the disciples remaining in the world?
  • What does Jesus ask God to do for the disciples?

 

Scripture background

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

We discover in Acts today what it was like for the disciples between the time Jesus ascended into heaven and Pentecost. As Jesus’ followers waited for the Holy Spirit to come to them, they gathered in the upper room and prayed. We learn that the followers are not just the eleven remaining apostles, but that they include Jesus’ mother, his brothers (or other male relatives) and some other women.

The lectionary takes us back to an earlier time in today’s Gospel reading. We hear the prayer Jesus prayed just before he and his disciples went to the garden on the night of the Last Supper. Jesus turns to God in prayer and acknowledges that the work he came to do is at an end. He knows that he will return to God and receive God’s glory. But he also asks God to strengthen and care for the disciples. Specifically Jesus asks that they be united–that they are one as Jesus and God are one. It now falls to the disciples to carry on the mission begun by Jesus. Through Jesus, the disciples know God and they, too, will be glorified by God.

 

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • How does God’s glory show through you?
  • How does the Holy Spirit give you the courage and strength to do things that are difficult?
  • Why do you think Jesus prayed that the disciples could be one as Jesus and God are one? What does that mean for us today?

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

 

Doctrinal Discussion Starters

Christian Unity

Unity is one of the chief characteristics of the Catholic Church. The source of our unity comes from the one God in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Christ binds us together in the family of God. In our humanness, we sometimes fail to remember that we are one body. We separate ourselves from other members of the body through our own sin, stubbornness, and pride. Like Jesus’ friends gathered in the upper room that day after his ascension and before the Holy Spirit came to them, we find strength in praying with one another. Our prayer focuses on the common goal of being faithful to Jesus and the mission he began here on earth. With the help of one another, we have the strength and courage to continue sharing the Good News of Jesus.

  • What are some of the things you do or say that show others you are a member of Christ’s body?
  • What assurance do we have that Christ is with his Church until the end of time?
  • What are some divisions in the Body of Christ that you have noticed? What suggestions do you have for healing these differences?

 

Sacrament Connection

When we are baptized, we become members of God’s family. We belong to Christ’s body. We receive the Holy Spirit at our baptism and it is with the help of the Spirit that we have strength, courage, and wisdom to lead others to Christ. Baptism opens the way for us to participate in other sacraments that help unify us as one, particularly Eucharist in which all gather around the one table of the Lord.

 

The Gospel in Life

Do you see an area of separation among people, perhaps in your family, at school, in your parish? What steps can you take to restore unity? You may decide on an action or ask someone who shares your concern to pray with you for healing.

 

Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition
Grade 4, chapter 10, and page 279 school edition and page 383 parish edition
Grade 5, chapter 3, and page 279 school edition and page 383 parish edition
Grade 6, chapter 7, and page 279 school edition and page 383 parish edition

Posted in: Sessions A