Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session
Wisdom 1:13-15; 2:23-24
Mark 5:21-43

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Lord God,
We know there is no death with you, only change. Thank you for creating us to live with you forever, and help us trust in the love you have for those who have gone to you before us. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Opening Life Reflection

Think of something you can do for someone who is sick. Share ideas and help one another come up with suggestions. When you decide on an action, try to do it without letting the person know you were the one responsible.

Listening to the Word of God

The author of Wisdom talks about spiritual death rather than physical death. As a gift from God’s divine grace, it is possible for us to live forever with God.

Read Wisdom 1:13-15, 2:23-24
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

• How does the author of Wisdom say God feels about death?
• How is it possible to experience spiritual death? How is spiritual death different from physical death?
• Who is the creator of spiritual death?

Through the power of Jesus, death did not come to a child in today’s Gospel. People had heard about Jesus’ healing power and many had a strong faith that he could heal them and their loved ones. The child’s father was one of these.

Read Mark 5:21-43
Allow for silence.

Why did the sick woman and the girl’s father search for Jesus in this Gospel story?
• After people came from Jairus’ house to tell him his daughter was dead, what did Jesus ask of Jairus?
• What do you suppose was the purpose in this story of the people who told Jairus to leave Jesus alone; that it was too late; his daughter was already dead?

Scripture Background

Sanctity of Human Life
Two stories go on at the same time in this Gospel reading. In both stories people have strong faith. The first is a woman who has been suffering with an illness for many years. When she touches Jesus’ robe she is immediately healed. At the same time, walking with Jesus in the crowd is Jairus, a prominent official of the synagogue. Jairus had searched out Jesus to ask for his help in healing his daughter. When the woman touched Jesus’ robe, he felt the healing energy flow through him and searched out the person who had touched him. When the woman came forward, Jesus told her that she was healed by her own faith. At that very moment, people from the official’s house came to him telling him that his daughter was dead, that he should not bother with the teacher anymore but come home. Jesus told Jairus to have faith and together they went to the man’s house where Jesus healed the child. Jesus’ actions in today’s Gospel remind us that faith in Jesus goes beyond suffering and death.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

• How has Jesus given you (or someone you know) new life?
• Have you ever found yourself in a hopeless situation where you can’t find a way out? What did you do?
• Is there a way we can help bring about healing to those who are hurt and sad?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
God created us out of love and therefore, every life is sacred. Together with God and one another, it is our responsibility to work for a common good in keeping all of God’s creation safe. In order to do this, we cannot hurt or destroy another person on purpose. One of the Ten Commandments God gave us is “You shall not kill.” For the common good of all people we must work together with and obey God, keeping all of creation safe.

• What are some areas of creation that are at risk today?
• Who are some people you see working with God to protect creation?
• What do you do to help God protect creation?

Sacrament Connection
Anointing of the Sick is a sacrament that gives faith, hope and love for God to people who are very sick or dying. We can receive this sacrament anytime we are seriously ill. The sacrament helps join us to Jesus who knows how it feels to suffer. Sometimes people recover from their illness, but other times, the sacrament helps us prepare for our journey back to God.

The Gospel in Life
How can you bring about healing in someone’s life this week? Is there someone you know who is in pain? Is there something you can do to help lighten another’s load or give him/her courage?

Posted in: Sessions B