Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session
Jeremiah 17:5-8
Luke 6:17, 20-26

Opening Prayer
Let us pray.
Blessed God, you call us blessed when we care for others.
Help us bring your love to those in need.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.
Amen.

Opening Life Reflection
The Beatitudes are the focus of today’s session. Begin by inviting the children to name some qualities of individuals who they would say are “blessed” by God. List all the qualities on a chalkboard or a large sheet of paper. Discuss:

  • Name some of the people who you think are “blessed” by God.
  • Do you think that they are happy? Why or Why not?
  • What makes a person truly happy?

Allow time for discussion. The Beatitudes describe the qualities and actions of people who are blessed by God. They teach us that God is the true source of our happiness

Listening to the Word of God

In the Old Testament reading, listen to how the people who trust in the Lord are blessed.
Read Jeremiah 17:5-8.
Allow for silence

Scripture Discussion Starters

  • How are the people who do not trust in God described?
  • What are they compared to?
  • How are the people who put their trust in God described?
  • What are they compared to?

Listening to the Word of God

In the gospel listen to how Jesus describes people who are blessed by God.
Read Luke 6:17, 20-26.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

  • Who does Jesus say are “blessed?”
  • Where do the “blessed” find their reward?
  • Who does Jesus forewarn?

Scripture Background

Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the readings.

In the first reading a warning is given to those who turn their hearts from the Lord. The image of a shrub in the desert is used to describe those who put their trust in worldly things. The shrub is without a source to keep it alive and flourishing. The point is that God is the only true source of happiness and life. The image of a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream is used for those who trust in the Lord. This reading emphasizes that the only path to true happiness is reliance on God alone.

In today’s gospel Luke gives us his version of the “Beatitudes”. According to Luke, Jesus’ teaching is pointed and direct. Jesus tells the disciples how blessed are the poor, the hungry, the sad and the persecuted, for their reward awaits them in the kingdom of heaven. Luke is writing for a community struggling for survival at a time of Christian persecution. Jesus’ sermon brings great promise and hope to those who are going through trials. The idea of future blessedness offers reassurance and hope. Even for followers of Christ today, the Beatitudes promise blessings that more than compensate for present sufferings.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • What can you learn from the Beatitudes?
  • What are some of the qualities of the people who are called “blessed” by Jesus?
  • What qualities do you have that are similar to the people who are called “blessed?”

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters

Our Vocation to Beatitude
We all want to be happy. God has placed the desire for happiness in our hearts. We look for happiness throughout our lives. We believe that God placed that desire in our hearts so that we would turn to the true Source. God alone can satisfy our desire for happiness.

The Beatitudes promise ultimate happiness to all those who trust in God. True happiness is not found in worldly wealth, comfort, power, or beauty, no matter how good these realities may be. In God alone, the source of every good thing and of all love, our true happiness and joy is found.

  • Name the people you know who truly live the Beatitudes.
  • How can you try to live the Beatitudes?
  • What is the reward of living the Beatitudes?

The Gospel in Life
Re-write the Beatitudes in your own words applying them to your life today.

 

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