Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, primary

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Primary Session

Luke 19:1-10


Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Loving God,
Thank you for sharing your life with us.
Help us to grow closer to you.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

Today’s topic is justification—God’s saving action. To prepare for this session, make a large puzzle for the children to put together. On a large sheet of poster board write in large colorful letters the word GRACE. Decorate the background. Cut the poster board into large puzzle pieces. Begin the session by inviting the children to put the puzzle together as a group. Discuss:

  • What is grace?
  • How is grace a gift from God?
  • How does grace help us to live as God’s children?

Allow time for discussion. Justification is God’s saving action that helps us to live as part of God’s family. God’s gift of grace helps us to make good and loving choices and live as God’s children.


Listening to the Word of God

In the Gospel today listen to how Jesus meets a man named Zacchaeus.

Read Luke 19:1-10.

Allow for silence.


Scripture Discussion Starters

  • How does Jesus meet Zacchaeus?
  • Why is Zacchaeus up in a tree?
  • What does Jesus say to Zacchaeus?
  • How does the crowd react?
  • How does Zacchaeus respond to Jesus?


Scripture Background

Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the Gospel.

In today’s Gospel Jesus meets Zacchaeus, a rich tax collector. The people do not like Zacchaeus because they think he takes their money and keeps it for himself. Zacchaeus wants to meet Jesus. When Jesus comes by, the crowd gets in his way, so Zacchaeus climbs a tree in order to see him. But the important part of the story is that Jesus sees him. “Come on down,” Jesus calls out, “I am coming to your home.” The religious leaders and the crowd react with disapproval.

This gospel shows that people can dislike others before getting to know them. Many people do not like Zacchaeus, but Jesus sees the truth. Jesus sees the hidden goodness in Zacchaeus.


Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • What does Jesus see in Zacchaeus?
  • Can Jesus see goodness in you?
  • Do you see goodness in others?

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


Doctrinal Discussion Starters


Grace is a gift that helps us to live as God’s children. We receive the gift of God’s grace at Baptism.

Sometimes we choose to sin and turn away from God. The Catholic Church teaches that God will always forgive us and welcome us back home. When we make good and loving choices we cooperate with God’s grace. Justification is God’s saving action which frees us from sin and brings us back to God.

  • What gift do we receive at Baptism?
  • What does grace help us to do?
  • What helps you make good choices?


The Gospel in Life

How can you make good and loving choices this week?


Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition

At Home Family Guide, theme 1
Kindergarten, chapter 11
Grade 1, chapter 1
Grade 2, chapter 1
Grade 3, chapter 5

Posted in: Sessions C