Third Sunday of Lent, Year C, Junior High

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Junior High Session
Exodus 3:1-8, 13-15
Luke 13:1-9


Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
God of Mercy,
Thank you for your compassion and willingness to forgive.
Help us to be compassionate and willing to forgive others.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

On this third Sunday of Lent we recognize the compassion and mercy of God. To begin today’s session invite the youngsters to reflect on their image of God. Discuss:

  • Describe your image of God.
  • What are some characteristics that you associate with God?
  • How is God revealed to you?

Allow time for discussion. The nature of God is a mystery that we can only begin to comprehend. Our image of God will likely change as we grow in faith. This Sunday we are reminded that the Lord is kind and merciful.


Listening to the Word of God

In both the Old Testament and the New Testament we find a God who is kind and merciful. Listen to what this first reading from the Old Testament tells us about God.

Read Exodus 3:1-8, 13-15.
Allow for silence.


Scripture Discussion Starters

  • How is God revealed to Moses?
  • How does Moses react to the presence of God?
  • What has God come to do?
  • What divine title does God give to Moses?

In today’s Gospel listen to Jesus tell a parable about a fig tree.
Read Luke 13:1-9.
Allow for silence.

  • In the parable that Jesus tells, why does the man want to cut down the fig tree?
  • Why is the tree given one more year to bear fruit?
  • Why does Jesus tell the story of the fig tree?
  • What will happen to those who do not repent?


Scripture Background

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

Today’s readings reveal a God who is merciful and forgiving. In the first reading from the Old Testament God reveals the divine name to Moses and the Jewish people. God tells Moses that this divine title is for all generations. Today’s first reading emphasizes the care and commitment that God has for the chosen people. God is identified as one who is filled with mercy and compassion.

In today’s Gospel Jesus tells the parable of the fig tree. This story sheds light on the importance of repentance and it informs listeners that God is patient and merciful. In this parable a fig tree is given another chance to bear fruit. This conveys how God patiently waits and longs for the return of those who are loved. In this parable Jesus stresses how important it is for us to return to our true source of nourishment. Jesus calls us to repent and turn back to God. Today’s gospel offers encouragement. We are given another chance to bear goodness.


Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • Have you ever been given a second chance?
  • What are the things that you need to turn away from in order to turn back to God?
  • How can you bring forth goodness?

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


Doctrinal Discussion Starters

“The Lord is kind and merciful.” – God’s nature revealed.

The nature of God has been revealed to us through God’s actions in history. God’s actions expose a faithful and loving God. In Jesus we find a God who is merciful and forgiving. Through his teaching and preaching, his life and death, Jesus points to a loving God who is always ready to forgive.

Catholics celebrate the loving kindness of God in the Introductory Rites of Mass. During the Penitential Rite we examine our lives in light of God’s mercy and love. We are given a chance to start new and turn back to God who patiently awaits our return.

  • Are you able to admit your faults to a God who is kind and merciful?
  • Do you sometimes think of God as judgmental or punishing?
  • How can you participate more fully in the Penitential Rite during Mass?


The Gospel in Life

God loves you and accepts you just as you are right at this very moment. Even with all your faults and failures God delights in you! How can you grow in your understanding and acceptance of God’s mercy and kindness?


Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition
At Home Family Guide, theme 21


Blest Are We
Grade 7, chapter 3
Grade 8, chapter 9

Posted in: Sessions C