Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, Junior High

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

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Loving Jesus,
We know you have great healing power in our lives. Please help us remember that you are with us, especially in our struggles. Give us faith as strong as the woman and father in today’s Gospel. Through your son, Jesus, we pray, Amen.

Opening Life Reflection
Ask the children to share their experiences of the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. These can be personal experiences or it can be what they have seen in the media. Be sure to share your own experiences. Explain that in this sacrament, the Church continues Jesus’ healing work today. Ask the children to share stories of people who continue Christ’s healing work in the world today.

Listening to the Word of God
From the author of Wisdom, we learn that God does not want death for us. God created us out of love and through 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
• From this scripture reading what do we know about how God feels about death?
• What is the difference between spiritual death and physical death?
• What are the circumstances of spiritual death?

Jesus healed two people in today’s Gospel reading. Both people had strong faith in Jesus and it was through faith that they saw the healing power of Jesus.

Read Mark 5:21-43.
Allow for silence.

• What did the sick woman and the girl’s father believe about Jesus?
• When it seemed that all hope was gone for Jairus’ daughter, what did Jesus ask of Jairus?
• What can you say about the faith of the people who had been at Jairus’ home? Do you think their faith changed after Jesus’ visit?

Scripture Background

Mark weaves two stories together in today’s Gospel in order to illustrate faith. First there is a woman who suffers with a long-term illness. She seeks Jesus in the crowd and touches his robe. Immediately her illness disappears and she is healed. At the same time, walking with Jesus in the crowd is Jairus, a prominent official of the synagogue. Jairus’ daughter is seriously ill and he searches for Jesus to ask for his help in healing her. When the woman touches Jesus’ robe, he feels the healing energy flow through him and searches out the person who has touched him. When the woman comes forward, Jesus tells her that she is healed by her own faith. At that very moment, people from the official’s house come to him telling him that his daughter is dead. They tell him further that he should not bother with the teacher anymore but come home. Jesus tells Jairus to have faith and together they go to the man’s house where Jesus heals the child. Jesus’ actions in today’s Gospel remind us that faith in Jesus goes beyond suffering and death.

Questions for Deeper Reflection
• What do we know about God’s healing power for ourselves after reading this scripture?
• Have you ever been worried about someone or something like Jairus was in this Gospel?
• How do you think God expects us to help someone who is hurting or sad?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starter
Because God created each of us out of love, every life is sacred. Together with God and one another we must work together to keep 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, caring for all of creations.

• Where do you see a need in caring for God’s creation?
• What are some ways you see people working with God to protect creation?
• How do you and those you know work to protect God’s creation?

Sacrament Connection
Through the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick, people receive faith, hope and love when they 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