Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year A, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session
Acts 8:5-8, 14-17
John 14:15-21

 

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful,
and kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your spirit and they shall be created
and you shall renew the face of the earth.
Amen.

(Prayer to the Holy Spirit)

 

Opening Life Reflection

The theme for today is the sacrament of Confirmation. To begin, invite the children to write notes of welcome and encouragement to the new members of the Catholic Church who were initiated in their parish at the Easter Vigil. Provide construction paper, pencils and markers. Discuss:

  • How do people become members of the Catholic Church?
  • What are the three sacraments of initiation?
  • How does the sacrament of Confirmation help us to follow Jesus?

Allow time for discussion. Jesus promised his followers that he would not leave them alone. He promised that he would ask God to send the Holy Spirit as a helper and guide. The sacrament of Confirmation celebrates the gift of the Holy Spirit.

 

Listen to the Word of God

In the first reading from Acts of the Apostles, listen to how the Holy Spirit is given to Jesus’ followers.

Read Acts 8:5-8, 14-17.

Allow for silence.

 

Scripture Discussion Starters

  • How is the gift of the Holy Spirit given to Jesus’ followers?
  • How is Christianity spread to Samaria?
  • How do the people in Samaria accept the word of God?

In the gospel today listen to what Jesus promises his followers.

Read John 14:15-21.

Allow for silence.

  • What does Jesus promise his followers?
  • What help will the Holy Spirit bring?
  • What does Jesus tell his followers about observing his commandments?

 

Scripture Background

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

In the first reading from Acts, Philip spreads the word of God to Samaria. The people welcome him with joy and enthusiasm. The good news about Jesus is spreading outside Jerusalem. Peter and John go and lay hands on the new believers so that they can receive the Holy Spirit. This passage shows God working in unexpected ways to spread the good news.

In the gospel, Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit to those who love him. Jesus tells his followers that those who love him will keep his commandments. Jesus loves his disciples and he promises never to leave them alone. Another advocate will be sent as a helper. This gospel assures us that God’s Spirit will dwell within the minds and hearts of believers, providing inner strength and guidance.

 

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • Why does Jesus send the Holy Spirit?
  • How does the Holy Spirit bring Jesus’ followers help and guidance?
  • What does it mean for us to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit?

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

 

Doctrinal Discussion Starters

The Sacrament of Confirmation

The Catholic Church teaches that the Holy Spirit is present in the lives of believers in many ways. First, the Church as a whole is a community of people unified by the Spirit of God. Second, the Spirit is at work in the celebration of liturgy and the sacraments. Finally, the individual believer is gifted with the Spirit through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation.

Confirmation is one of the Sacraments of Initiation. The sacrament of Confirmation completes Baptism and it celebrates the gift of the Holy Spirit. The sign of Confirmation is the laying on of hands and the anointing with chrism. The perfumed oil called chrism is consecrated by the bishop on Holy Thursday for use throughout the year. The richness of the perfumed oil symbolizes the richness of the gifts of the Spirit poured out upon believers in Confirmation. The minister of the sacrament of Confirmation makes the sign of the cross on the candidate’s forehead with chrism while praying, “Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.”

  • How is the Holy Spirit working in the Church today?
  • What is celebrated in the Sacrament of Confirmation?
  • How does the Holy Spirit help us to continue the work of Jesus in the world?

 

The Gospel in Life

How can you call on the Holy Spirit to help you follow Jesus in your daily life?

 

Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition

At Home Family Guide, theme 16
Grade 4, chapter 12 and page 277 parish and page 381 school
Grade 5, chapter 12 and page 277 parish and page 381 school
Grade 6, chapter 13 and page 277 parish and page 381 school

Posted in: Sessions A