Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, Primary

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Primary Session
Mark 12:28-34


Opening Prayer
Let us Pray.
Dear God, you love us without fail.
Help us love you in return. Help us show your love to others.
May we always think as much of others as we do of ourselves.
In the name of Jesus we pray,


Opening Life Reflection

Today’s gospel reminds us that our mission as Catholic Christians is to love God and others.

Ask children to think about people they know who are sometimes hard to love. There might be someone at school, in their neighborhood or even in their own family.

Have children draw the outline of a heart. Inside the heart, invite children to draw a picture or write the name of the person they are thinking of. It will serve as a reminder for them to love that person as much as they love themselves. Think about:

What are some things that make it difficult to love certain people?

  • How do you think showing love to difficult people can help them?
  • When has someone shown you love?

Allow time for discussion. We know that God loves us and we know God’s love through other people. Other people know God’s love through us.


Listening to the Word of God

In today’s Gospel we learn that the greatest commandment is to love God with all our self. The next most important thing is to love other people as much as we love ourselves.

Read Mark 12:28-34.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

  • What kind of a person do you think the scribe was who asked Jesus the question?
  • What did Jesus tell the scribe was the most important commandment?
  • What did Jesus promise the scribe (and us) if he lived according to the commandment?


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

With great sincerity, a scribe asks Jesus in today’s gospel, what is the greatest commandment. Since there were 613 commandments in the Jewish Torah, this was a significant question. Jesus answered the scribe by saying that to love God with all of our being was the most important command. The second most important commandment was to love others as we love ourselves.

When Jesus questioned the scribe’s understanding, it was clear that if the scribe continued to live in the way Jesus explained, the scribe would live in the Kingdom of God. This is true for all followers of Jesus.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • What are some ways we love ourselves?
  • Are there some things about ourselves that might be hard for others to love?
  • Are there any other commandments not already included in these two?

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


Doctrinal Discussion Starters

Command to Love God and Neighbor

As Catholic Christians we are commissioned to show God’s love to the world. We show our love of God by loving other people. We can bring about peace in our world by loving others and caring for them in the same way we love ourselves and care about ourselves. If we truly love God, we can only show this by the way we treat and love others. We can only love others if we first love God. It is through our unconditional love of God that we know how to love others unconditionally. And it is through this love that the Kingdom of God begins on earth.

  • What is the greatest commandment?
  • How can living that commandment bring about the Kingdom of God?
  • Why must we love God first before anything or anyone else?

Sacrament Connection

As Catholics we believe that the sacraments in general and Eucharist in particular help us show God’s love in the world. We receive Eucharist and through it, Jesus becomes a part of us. When we leave church and go into the world, we take Jesus with us. Jesus is inside of us and we witness Jesus’ love to others by serving them, loving them, and caring for them as we love and care for ourselves.

The Gospel in Life

Think of one person in your school or family who you have loved less than yourself. What will you do this week to show him or her God’s love through you?


Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition
At Home Family Guide, theme 13
Kindergarten, chapter 20
Grade 1, chapter 20
Grade 2, chapter 19
Grade 3, chapter 18

Posted in: Sessions B