Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, Primary

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Primary Session

Matthew 22:34-40

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.

Dear Jesus,

You loved others especially the poor.

Help us to love and care for all people.

In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

The focus for today is the two great commandments. Begin by having the children introduce themselves to the person sitting next to them. Invite the children to shake hands with their neighbor and share one thing that they like about them. Discuss:

• Why is it important to treat one another with respect?
• How do we show love and respect for God?
• How did Jesus teach us to love our neighbor?

Allow time for discussion. Jesus gave us the great commandment. The great commandment tells us about loving God and loving our neighbor as we love ourselves.

Listening to the Word of God

In the gospel today listen to find out what is the greatest commandment of all.

Read Matthew 22:34-40.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

• What was Jesus asked?
• What is the greatest commandment of all?
• What are the two parts of the greatest commandment?

Scripture Background

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

In today’s gospel Jesus sums up all the teaching of the law and the prophets in the greatest commandment of all. A question is put to Jesus about which commandment is most important. Jesus’ reply has two parts. First we are to love God, second we are to love our neighbor, as we love ourselves. This teaching was not a new one for the religious leaders of Jesus’ time. What was new and important was that Jesus presents both commandments as equal in importance. Today’s passage stresses that there is no greater commandment than the two great commandments.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

• What makes the greatest commandment so important?

• How do the two great commandments teach us how to live as God’s children?

• How can you tell others about the great commandment?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
The Two Great Commandments
Jesus takes two separate commandments and places them together. This new, single and greatest commandment teaches us how to live as God’s children. The Church believes that love of God and neighbor cannot be separated.

The first part of the great commandment reminds us that God comes first in our lives. We show our love and respect for God in prayer and worship and by the way that we live our lives.

The second part of the great commandment calls us to love one another as God loves us. We show love for others by treating one another with care and respect. Catholics understand that we have a responsibility to care for one another. By loving God, our neighbor and ourselves, we are living the Great Commandment.

• What does the first part of the great commandment teach us?
• What does the second part of the great commandment teach us?
• How do you show respect for others at home and in school?

Sacrament Connection
The sacrament of Baptism celebrates our response to God’s invitation to believe in Jesus Christ and live the Gospel. As Baptized Christians we are called to live the great commandment and be a sign of God’s presence in the world.

The Gospel in Life
Think of one kind thing that you can do for someone at home or at school this week. How can you show love for your neighbor with a simple act of kindness?

Posted in: Sessions A