Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session
1 Kings 19:16b, 19-21
Luke 9:51-62

Opening Prayer
Let us pray.
O God, you give us the gift of freedom so that we can live as your children.
Help us to make good and loving choices.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.

Opening Life Reflection
The focus for today’s session is the gift of freedom. Begin by writing the word “freedom” on a large sheet of paper or chalkboard. Invite the children to brainstorm what comes to mind when they think of the word freedom. Write down their responses. Discuss:
• What is freedom?
• Why did God create us with the gift of freedom?
• What does freedom mean to those who follow Jesus?

Allow time for discussion. God created us with the gift of freedom. By his death on the cross and his resurrection from the dead, Jesus has freed us from the power of sin and death. It is our responsibility as followers of Jesus to make good and loving choices.

Listening to the Word of God
In this first reading from the Old Testament, listen to the call of a prophet.

Read 1 Kings 19:16b, 19-21.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters
• What does God ask Elijah to do?
• How is Elisha called?
• How does Elisha respond to God’s call?

In the gospel listen to what Jesus tells his followers about being true disciples.

Read Luke 9:51-62.
Allow for silence.

• Where does Jesus want to go?
• What happens on the journey?
• What does Jesus tell his disciples?

Scripture Background
Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the readings.

In the first reading from the Old Testament God commands the prophet Elijah to set out and anoint a prophet to succeed him. Elijah finds Elisha and throws his cloak over him. The cloak is the hairskin garment of a prophet. Elisha responds with a request to first say goodbye to his father and mother. Then with the slaughtering of his oxen and the burning of his plowing equipment, Elisha chooses to pursue his new vocation as a prophet.

In today’s gospel Jesus makes a firm decision to go to Jerusalem. On their journey Jesus and his disciples experience rejection as they approach a Samaritan village. The disciples react with anger but Jesus tells them to continue on their way. His disciples tell Jesus that they will always follow him. Jesus lets his followers know that their journey will not be easy. A true disciple must be willing to suffer rejection and poverty. Jesus tells his disciples that they must let go of their past and start on a new journey of building the kingdom of God.

Questions for Deeper Reflection
• How can the choices we make show that we are followers of Jesus?
• How do other people influence the choices that you make?
• Why is it sometimes difficult to follow Jesus?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
For Freedom Christ Has Set Us Free

Through his cross and resurrection Jesus Christ has freed us from the power of sin and death. Jesus is our Savoir, the One who has set us free.

The Church teaches that God created us out of love with the gift of freedom so that we may willingly choose to love God in return. The human choice to sin and turn away from God is an abuse of the gift of freedom.

Along with the gift of freedom comes the responsibility to direct our actions toward good. God gave the gift of freedom to us so that we could learn and grow and make loving choices as children of God. When we choose to do otherwise we abuse the freedom we have in Christ, which leads to sin.

With the grace of God we are able to strive for what is right and good. We can do our best to seek what is good and avoid evil.

• How do you know if the choices you make are good?
• What helps you to choose what is good and avoid evil?
• Why is it important to make good and loving choices?

The Gospel in Life
Pray and ask God to help you make good choices this week.

Posted in: Sessions C