Let us pray.
Thank you for your kindness and mercy.
Help us to be kind and forgiving of others.
In the name of Jesus we pray.
Opening Life Reflection
On this third Sunday of Lent, we focus on the mercy and kindness of God. To begin today’s session, invite the children to create prayer cards expressing thanks for God’s mercy and forgiveness. Provide construction paper and markers and encourage the children to decorate the cards.
- How do you thank God for being merciful and kind?
- How do you ask God for forgiveness?
- Is God always forgiving?
- Why do we need forgiveness?
Allow time for discussion. During the season of Lent, we celebrate God’s forgiveness. We remember that God is kind and merciful.
Listening to the Word of God
In today’s Gospel Jesus tells a story about a fig tree. Listen to how the tree is given a second chance.
Read Luke 13:1-9.
Allow for silence.
Scripture Discussion Starters
- In the story that Jesus told, was there fruit on the fig tree?
- What did the man want to do to the tree?
- Why did the man give the fig tree another chance to bear fruit?
- Why did Jesus tell this story?
Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the readings.
In today’s Gospel Jesus tells the parable of a fig tree. He tells this story to let people know that God is kind and merciful. In this gospel, a fig tree is given another chance to bear fruit. The fig tree story tells us that God is always willing to forgive us and give us another chance.
In the story of the fig tree Jesus stresses how important it is for us to return to the One who gives us life. Jesus calls us to repent and turn back to God. Today’s Gospel offers encouragement. We are given another chance to bring about goodness.
Questions for Deeper Reflection
- Why does Jesus want us to know that God is kind and merciful?
- Do you think of God as being kind and forgiving?
- Why is it important to ask for forgiveness?
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.
God is faithful and loving. The nature of God is revealed to us by God’s actions throughout history. Jesus shows us that God 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.
- Where do you find the loving kindness of God?
- How can you show others the kindness of God?
- When do you ask for forgiveness?
The Gospel in Life
Take home your prayer card and use it to pray and thank God during Lent.
Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition
At Home Family Guide, theme 21
Kindergarten, page 165 and chapter 23
Grade 1, page 255 parish and page 363 school, and chapter 21
Grade 2, page 255 parish and page 363 school, and chapter 231
Grade 3, page 255 parish and page 363 school
Blest Are We
Kindergarten, chapter 19
Grade 1, chapters 3,5
Grade 2, chapter 15
Grade 3, chapter 3