Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Junior High

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Junior High Session
1 Kings 17:17-24
Luke 7:11-17

Opening Prayer
Let us pray.
Creator God,
you made us, body and soul.
Help us to act in ways that honor you
and show your love to the world.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.
Amen.

Opening Life Reflection
The theme for today’s session is resurrection of the body. Begin by inviting the young people to individually brainstorm a list of things they like about their bodies and a list of things they dislike about their bodies. Discuss in a large group, as appropriate:

  • What are some things you like about having a body?
  • What are some things people often dislike about their bodies?
  • How does knowing that God created you with a body change the way you look at your own body?
  • For what purpose do you think God gave us bodies?

Allow time for discussion. God made us body and soul. The Catechism tells us that God has no other reason for creating than his love and goodness (see Catechism of the Catholic Church 293). God created our bodies out of love, so our bodies reveal the power and love of God.

Listening to the Word of God
In the First Reading from the Old Testament listen to how a prophet shows God’s power.
Read 1 Kings 17:17-24.
Allow time for silent reflection.

Scripture Discussion Starters

  • What does Elijah ask God?
  • What happens when God hears Elijah’s prayer?
  • What is the widow’s response?

In the Gospel reading, listen to how Jesus shows God’s love through a miracle.
Read Luke 7:11-17.
Allow time for silent reflection.

  • How did Jesus feel when he saw the woman crying?
  • What did Jesus do for the woman?
  • How did the people respond to the miracle?

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

In the First Reading from the Old Testament, Elijah is running away from King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, who want to kill him. The widow allows Elijah to stay at her house, but then her son becomes sick and dies. At first the widow believes this has happened because Elijah is in her house. After Elijah prays and God revives her son, the widow recognizes the power of God working through the prophet Elijah.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus sees a woman who is on her way to bury her son. The Bible tells us that the woman is, like the woman in the First Reading, a widow. Because both her husband and her son have died, she is alone. Jesus sees her sadness and is filled with compassion for her. Out of great love for her, Jesus brings her son back to life. The people gathered there recognize that only God is powerful enough to restore someone to life.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • How is the power of God’s love revealed in both of these stories?
  • The Gospel story is meant to remind us of the similar story about Elijah, but Luke specifically focuses on Jesus’s compassion for the woman. What does this tell us about Jesus?
  • We can’t bring people back to life, but in what ways can we show God’s love, especially to those who are suffering?
  • These stories have a similar theme: life after death. What does this reveal about life as a disciple?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
Resurrection of the Body
The Church teaches that God created each of us with both a body and a soul. Through our bodies and souls we are able to praise God and share God’s love. When we help others in need or give encouragement, we share God’s love.

Because God created us with bodies, the Church teaches that, at the end of the world, our bodies will be resurrected – restored to new life. We proclaim this belief in both the Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds. By our Baptism, we share life in Christ. That life does not end with physical death. Our bodies and souls will have life everlasting with Jesus. God’s love for us is so powerful it cannot be ended, even by death.

God created our bodies. We are to respect our bodies and the bodies of others, especially those who are suffering. The way we bless and honor bodies at Catholic funerals demonstrates the hope we have of resurrection.

Resurrection of the body is hard to explain. How our bodies are transformed into glorified bodies is beyond our imagination. We can begin to understand, in faith, the promise of bodily resurrection because we experience the Risen Lord and his life among us in our faith communities.

The Gospel in Life
This week, look for ways you experience the Risen Lord in your life. Remember that, like Jesus, the body you have now will be transformed into a glorious body for life everlasting.

Posted in: Sessions C