Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, Junior High

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Junior High Session

Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46

Mark 1:40-45

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.

O God, you heal our bodies, minds, and souls.

Help us turn to you in times of need.

In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

The topic for today is the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. To begin, divide the young people into groups of three or four. Within their groups, invite them to share times when they have experienced pain or suffering and what helped them to feel better. Then have each group choose one situation to role-play. Invite the groups to act out one situation before the large group. Discuss:

• What are the most common health threats today?

• How do today’s health threats differ from those in the past?

• Where can we go for help when we are sick or in pain?

Allow time for discussion. In times of sickness and pain, our faith reminds us to rely on the goodness and healing power of God.

Listening to the Word of God
In the first reading from the Old Testament, listen to hear what happens to those who suffer from illnesses.

Read Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

• What happens to those who are sick?

• What are the priests instructed to do?

• Where are the lepers sent to live?

In the gospel today listen to find out how Jesus brings healing to the people.

Read Mark 1:40-45.

Allow for silence.

• Who comes to Jesus begging for help?

• What does Jesus do for the leper?

• What does the healed man go off and do?

Scripture Background

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

In today’s first reading from the Old Testament we are shown the terrible plight of those suffering from infectious diseases. The priests are instructed to examine anyone suffering from skin diseases. If it is determined that a person is unclean, they are required to live outside the community. This treatment may have been due to fear of the disease spreading. When this Old Testament passage was written, the understanding was that holy people must be physically and morally well.

Today’s gospel deals with the subject of illness and healing. The healing that Jesus performs on the man with leprosy shows that Jesus has come into the world to restore health and bring people back to God. Because leprosy was such a dreadful skin disease, the leper’s bold approach to Jesus found in today’s gospel and Jesus’ loving response are all the more meaningful. Jesus is moved with compassion by the sight of the man. Jesus acts, and the man is completely cured. Jesus urges the man to tell no one of his healing. But the man promptly goes out and tells others the great news—that he is healed!

Questions for Deeper Reflection

• What was the understanding of holiness when today’s Old Testament passage was written?

• Why does the healed man in today’s gospel go out and tell others the great news?

• How does Jesus bring people back to God?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starter
Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick
Jesus showed great compassion for those who were sick. He helped people believe in the goodness and healing power of God. While he did not heal everyone, his miracles showed the coming of the kingdom of God. The Church continues the healing mission of Jesus by taking care of those who are ill, by praying for them, and by celebrating the sacrament of anointing of the sick.

At the celebration of the sacrament of the anointing of the sick, the Word of God is proclaimed from sacred Scripture. Then a silent laying on of hands by either a priest or bishop occurs, followed by the offering of the prayer of faith. Then the person who is sick is anointed with holy oil by the priest or bishop while the following words are said: “ Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up.” The anointing can be made on the forehead and on the palms of the hands. The sacrament can be celebrated in a private home, in the hospital, in a nursing facility, or in a church. Families and parishioners are encouraged to be present to offer the comfort and support of the whole Church.

• How did Jesus show compassion for those who were sick?
• How can we experience the healing power of God in the Church today?
• What happens at the celebration of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick?

Sacrament Connection
The Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick strengthens ones faith and gives those who are seriously ill or dying the grace to face their sickness. Through the Sacrament, the Holy Spirit offers the gifts of courage, hope and peace.

The Gospel in Life
How can you offer help to any family members or friends who are in need of healing this week?

Posted in: Sessions B