Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session

Isaiah 8:23-9:3
Matthew 4:12-23


Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
O God, you call us to live as your children.
Help us to use our gifts and abilities to serve you.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

The topic for today is vocation. To begin, invite the children to list all their talents and abilities on a sheet of paper. Then have them write down how they can use their talents and abilities to serve God and others.

  • Who is called to serve God and others?
  • How can you serve God?
  • How do some people you know use their abilities to serve God?

Allow time for discussion. All Christians are called to know, love, and serve God. We serve God by sharing our time and talents with others.


Listening to the Word of God

In the Old Testament reading listen to the prophet Isaiah offer the people hope.

Read Isaiah 8:23-9:3.

Allow for silence.


Scripture discussion Starters

  • How does the prophet Isaiah offer the people hope?
  • What have the people done?
  • What images are used to uplift the people?

In the Gospel today listen to how Jesus calls his first followers.

Read Matthew 4:12-23.

Allow for silence.

  • What does Jesus begin to do?
  • How does Jesus call his first followers?
  • What are they doing?
  • What does Jesus go on to do?


Scripture Background

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

In today’s Old Testament reading Isaiah offers a vision of hope. The basis of this hope is that God is on the side of the people of Israel. The uplifting message in today’s passage is evident with images of a bright dawn, blazing torches of victory, a harvest festival, and soldiers dividing spoils after a victory.

Today’s Gospel marks the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. The prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled in Jesus who has come to proclaim the arrival of the kingdom of God. In today’s passage Jesus calls fishermen by the sea to come follow him. He invites them to become fishers of people. Many disciples join Jesus as he preaches the good news of the kingdom of God, and works deeds of power throughout the land.

Jesus chose to share his ministry with those whom he called his disciples. Today, Jesus calls us to be disciples and build God’s kingdom on earth.


Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • What does Jesus call his followers to do?
  • How do you follow Jesus?
  • How does Jesus call you to serve others?

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


Doctrinal Discussion Starters


The word “vocation” comes from the Latin word vocare, which means “to call.” Catholics believe that all people are called to share in God’s life. Jesus made it possible for us to share in the life of God. We are called to follow Jesus and work for goodness and peace in our world.

The gift of God’s life and love is a grace. This grace is lived out by our actions in the world. By our baptism we are called to live lives of holiness.

Historically the term vocation has been used in the Church to describe the call to priesthood and religious life. In modern times, the teaching of the Church expands the understanding of vocation to apply to all believers. As Catholic Christians we are called to follow Jesus and use our God given gifts and abilities to serve God and others.

  • What is the meaning of vocation?
  • What are Catholic Christians called to do?
  • Who are the people you know who serve God and others?


The Gospel in Life

How will you serve others this week?


Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition

At Home Family Guide, theme 14
Grade 4, chapters 5 and 18
Grade 5, chapter 20
Grade 6, chapter 19

Posted in: Sessions A