Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session
1 Kings 17:10-16
Mark 12:38-44 [or short form 12:41-44]

Opening Prayer
Let us pray.
Creator God,
you have blessed us
with all the resources of
the world. Help us to
care for creation and
thank you for the beauty
of the world around us.
In the name of Jesus we pray.

Opening Life Reflection
Begin the session by inviting the children to reflect on a time when they have cared for something or someone, perhaps a younger sibling, a sick relative or friend, a pet, a plant or a garden. Discuss:

• What was it like to care for someone or something other than yourself?
• Were you rewarded for your effort? If so, how?
• Do you think that it is your job to care for the world that God created?
• What unique gifts can you share for the good of the world?

God created the world and everything good. It is our job to care for all of creation. We show thanks to God when we share our gifts with others and care for the world around us.

Listening to the Word of God
In the first reading today listen to how a widow receives all that she needs.

Read 1 Kings 17:10-16.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters
• What does Elijah ask the widow?
• What does the widow say to Elijah?
• Does the widow have enough to feed her family?
• How is she able to give Elijah what he asks for?

In the gospel today listen as Jesus tells his disciples about true generosity.

Read Mark 12:38-44.
Allow for silence.

• What did the poor widow give to the collection?
• What did the rich people give?
• Why did Jesus say that the widow gave more?
• What was Jesus trying to teach his disciples?

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

In the Old Testament reading today the power of the Word of God through the prophets is revealed. The poor widow did what Elijah told her and as was promised, her jar of meal was not emptied. God gave her all she needed and more. In the days of the Old Testament it was not uncommon for a widow to be poor since she no longer had a husband to provide for her. What is exceptional about this woman is her willingness to share what little she had.

The gospel reading today introduces us to another generous widow who gives everything she has. As many rich people put large sums into the treasury, Jesus watches a poor widow put in a penny. Jesus tells his disciples that others gave of their abundance but this woman gave of her poverty. The generosity and quiet humility of this poor widow are admirable.

Jesus calls attention to the poor widow in order to teach his disciples what it means to follow him. Jesus knew that his disciples were concerned about material possessions and success and this was keeping them from understanding true discipleship. The widow shows what it takes to be truly great in the Reign of God.

Today’s gospel reading suggests that the amount that a person gives does not matter. What does matter is the spirit and intention of the giver. The poor widow put her trust in God and gave all that she had. She was able to empty herself with the awareness that God would provide for her every need.

Questions for Deeper Reflection
• What do these readings tell you about generosity?
• Who gives you the things that you need and want?
• How are you being called to give?
• Do you trust that God will give you what you need?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters

God created the world and everything good. We have been given all of creation as a gift. God has given us the responsibility of stewardship, which means to care for creation. Stewardship is closely linked to discipleship. Each of us has been given unique gifts from God to be used to help build the Reign of God on earth. For Catholics, being a follower of Christ includes being a good steward and taking good care of the gifts that God has given.

The reward of the good steward will be experienced in the world beyond this one. However, when we share our gifts with others and contribute to the good of the world around us we are living in cooperation with God. That is our reward here and now.

• Name some people who care for the world and its resources today.
• How do you care for nature and the environment?
• Do you think of yourself as a good steward?
• How do you share your gifts for the good of the world?

The Gospel in Life
Consider the enormous number of trees that are being cut down to make paper products. This week make a conscious effort to be less wasteful. Spread the news to your family and friends that you are being a good steward.

Posted in: Sessions B