Sts. Peter and Paul, A-C, Primary

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Primary Session
Matthew 16:13-19

Opening Prayer
Let us pray the Lord’s Prayer as members of God’s family.

Our Father,
Who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
Thy kingdom come;
Thy will be done on earth
as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass
against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Opening Life Reflection
The main topic for today is the Papacy and Collegiality. To begin, write the word “church” vertically down the side of a chalkboard or sheet of poster paper. Invite the children to think about how they live as members of God’s family. For each letter of the word “church,” brainstorm with the children how they are members of God’s family and write down a phrase, sentence, or word for each letter. Discuss:
• How is our Church like a family?
• Who are the members of God’s family?
• How are members of God’s family called to live in the world?

Allow time for discussion. Our Church family is made up of people living all over the world. Our leader is the Pope. All members of God’s family are called to love and support one another.

Listening to the Word of God
In the gospel today listen to find out what title Jesus gives to Peter.

Read Matthew 16:13-19.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters
• What does Jesus ask his disciples?
• How does Simon Peter answer Jesus?
• What title does Jesus give to Peter?

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

In today’s gospel Peter tells Jesus that he knows that he is the Messiah and Son of God. Jesus realizes that Peter has been given this understanding from God. Jesus says to Peter, “You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church.” Jesus makes Peter the rock, or foundation of his Church. Peter is given this special role because of his ability to teach the truth about Jesus.

Questions for Deeper Reflection
• Where do you learn the truth about Jesus?
• How does the Church teach the truth about Jesus?
• Who are the Church leaders that you know?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
The Papacy and Collegiality

Jesus sent both Peter and Paul to continue his work on earth. These two major leaders of the Church died for their faith in Rome. That is why the leader of the whole Church family lives in the Vatican, which is in Rome, Italy. We believe that the Pope is the successor of Peter and the bishops are the successor of the other apostles. The Pope preserves and proclaims the teachings of Jesus and is chief shepherd of God’s people.

Bishops also have leadership responsibilities. A bishop is pastor and teacher of the faith in his diocese. Together with the Pope, bishops have a duty to preserve the truth Jesus has entrusted to the Church. The Pope and bishops serve the People of God throughout the world. All members of the Church share in the work of Christ. We work together to made God’s love known in the world.

• What do we believe about the Pope?
• Why does the Pope live in Rome, Italy?
• How does the Church help make God’s love known in the world?

Sacrament Connection
The Sacrament of Holy Orders consecrates a man to a life of servant leadership to the Church. This sacrament continues the work Christ handed on to his apostles.

The Gospel in Life
Try to learn one new thing about the Pope this week. You can ask your teacher or parents for help.

Posted in: Sessions A , Sessions B , Sessions C