Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year A, Junior High

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Junior High 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 youngsters to form small groups of three or four. Have each group compose a life situation where a young person needs to rely on his/her own inner strength to get through a difficult experience. Invite each small group to share their story with the large group. Discuss:

  • When is it important for young people to rely on their inner strength?
  • How do we acquire inner strength?
  • How does God’s gift of the Holy Spirit strengthen us?

Allow time for discussion. As God’s children we can draw strength from God’s spirit within us. 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 find out how believers receive the gift of the Holy Spirit

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

Allow for silence.

 

Scripture Discussion Starters

  • Why does Philip go to Samaria?
  • How do the people in that city accept the word of God?
  • How do the believers receive the gift of the Holy Spirit?

In the Gospel listen to hear what Jesus promises his followers.

Read John 14:15-21.

Allow for silence.

  • What does Jesus tell his followers about the gift of the Holy Spirit?
  • What help will the Holy Spirit bring to believers?
  • 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. Today’s 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

  • How is the Holy Spirit described in the readings today?
  • When have you noticed God working in unexpected ways?
  • How is the Holy Spirit a source of strength and guidance in your life?

[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 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 the chrism while praying, “Be sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit.”

  • What do we celebrate in the sacrament of Confirmation?
  • How does the sacrament of Confirmation strengthen believers for their mission to be witnesses to Christ in the world?

 

The Gospel in Life

How can you be a witness to Christ in your daily life?

 

Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition

At Home Family Guide, theme 16
Junior High, Church and Sacraments, chapter 8
Junior High, Mystery of God, chapter 11

Posted in: Sessions A