Exodus 3:1-8, 13-15
Let us pray.
God of Mercy and Love,
Thank you for always being willing to forgive us.
Help us to be willing to ask forgiveness
when we have not listened to your call to love.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.
Opening Life Reflection
On this third Sunday of Lent we are reminded to come back to a God who patiently awaits our return. To begin today’s session provide each child with a strip of cardstock paper and markers for a bookmark activity. On the board or a large sheet of paper draw some Christian symbols, such as a cross, a dove, a fish, a candle etc. Have the children look at the symbols and choose the ones that draw their attention to God. Invite each child to decorate a bookmark using the symbols that best help them turn to God. Then allow time for volunteers to share their bookmarks.
The season of Lent helps us to turn back to God. God loves us and is always willing to forgive us. Today we will focus on the kindness and mercy of God.
Listening to the Word of God
In the Old Testament reading listen to what God reveals to Moses.
Read Exodus 3:1-8, 13-15.
Allow for silence.
Scripture Discussion Starters
- How does God appear to Moses?
- What does Moses do?
- Why has God come?
- What name for God is given to Moses?
In today’s Gospel listen to find out why Jesus tells a story about a fig tree.
Read Luke 13:1-9.
Allow for silence.
- What is the problem with the fig tree in the story?
- Why is the fig tree given another chance?
- What message is Jesus trying to get across with this story?
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
- Why is it sometimes important to be given a second chance?
- What do these readings say to you about God’s love?
- How can you return God’s love?
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 anew and turn back to God who patiently awaits our return.
- Do you think of God as being kind and merciful?
- Is it difficult for you to forgive others when they have hurt you?
- How can you be more willing to forgive?
The Gospel in Life
This week write a prayer asking God for forgiveness, then use it for prayer.
Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition
At Home Family Guide, theme 21
Grade 4, page 255 parish and page 363 school
Grade 5, page 255 parish and page 363 school
Grade 6, page 255 parish and page 363 school
Blest Are We
Grade 4, chapter 5
Grade 5, chapters 1,4
Grade 6, chapter 16