Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session
Wisdom 12:13, 16-19
Matthew 13:24-43

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Loving God, guide us so that we make choices that reflect your love.
Help us to live like Jesus.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.

Opening Life Reflection

The main topic for today is the problem of moral evil. To begin, draw one wheat stalk for each child on a large sheet of poster paper. Brainstorm with the children what helps them to grow as a child of God. As they answer draw to add sun, water, and soil to the picture. Then have the children brainstorm what keeps them from living as a child of God. As they answer, draw weeds next to the stalks of wheat. Discuss:

  • How can our choices help us to live as God’s children?
  • How does choosing to do good help us to grow?
  • What happens when we choose to do what we know is evil?
  • How can you learn to make good and loving choices?

Allow time for discussion. God created all people with the freedom to choose between what is good and what is evil. We grow as God’s children when we make good and loving choices.

Listening to the Word of God

In the Old Testament reading, listen to how God is kind and forgiving.

Read Wisdom 12:13, 16-19.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

  • Why is God forgiving?
  • How does God judge the people?
  • What does God teach the people?

In the gospel today, listen to Jesus teach about good and evil with a story about weeds and wheat.

Read Matthew 13:24-23.
Allow for silence.

  • Why does Jesus tell a story about weeds and wheat?
  • What do the good seeds in the story represent?
  • What do the weeds represent?
  • Why does God allow the weeds to grow along with the wheat?

Scripture Background

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

The first reading from the Book of Wisdom helps us to understand that although evil exists in the world, God extends mercy and forgiveness to all people. In today’s passage, the difficult question of why God allows good people to suffer and sinners to prosper is addressed. God allows the sinner to survive with the hope that the sinner will repent and change. Although God is all-powerful, Yahweh is shown to be a God of forgiveness and compassion.

In today’s gospel, Jesus once again uses seeds to help us understand the Kingdom of God. In the first parable, weeds try to choke out the good seed, but the sower does not get rid of the weeds right away. The weeds are allowed time to change. The good seeds represent the faithful and the weeds are evil doers. Jesus is the sower. This story shows how God wishes to allow time for the sinner to repent and grow in faith. In the end the weeds get separated out and thrown away and the faithful ones, the wheat, enjoy the harvest. Jesus teaches that judgment is reserved for the Lord alone in the final days. Today’s stories about seeds, wheat, and leaven, show how the faithful grow strong in God’s love.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • What do today’s readings teach us about God?
  • What is Jesus trying to teach in the parable of the wheat and weeds?
  • What helps you to grow in faith?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
The Problem of Moral Evil
We believe that God does not cause evil in the world. There is no quick or simple answer to why God allows evil to exist at all. The Church helps us to understand that there is evil that we do and evil that is not our personal responsibility, such as an earthquake that kills innocent people. Sometimes we choose to turn our backs on God. Moral evil is the evil that we choose to do.

God created us with the freedom to make our own choices. Free will and reason help us know and choose between what is good and what is evil. We are responsible for the decisions we make. We can choose to do what is good or to do evil. God is on our side, helping us to make good choices. Good moral decisions help us to grow as God’s children.

  • When is it hard for you to make a good choice?
  • What helps you to make good and loving choices?
  • What does it mean to be responsible for our choices?

Correlation to Faith First©

Grade 4 Chapter 19
Grade 5 Chapter 18
Grade 6 Chapter 20

The Gospel in Life

This week try to be more aware of the decisions you make. How can your choices make you a better follower of Jesus?

Posted in: Sessions A