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

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Intermediate Session

Wisdom 6:12-16

Matthew 25:1-13

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.

Thank you God, for all you have given us.

Teach us to pray so that we may grow in our love for you.

In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

The theme for today is perseverance in prayer. To begin, write the words “We pray for…” on the top of a chalkboard or sheet of poster paper. Brainstorm with the children all the things that they would like to pray for. Write down prayers of intention using their responses. Pray the prayers of intention out loud and invite the children to respond with “Lord, hear our prayer” after each prayer. Discuss:

• Why do we pray to God?
• What do we do when we pray?
• What are some different ways that we can pray?

Allow time for discussion. We believe that God wants us to pray and God listens to us when we pray. When we pray we grow closer to God.

Listening to the Word of God

In the Old Testament reading listen to find out about Wisdom.

Read Wisdom 6:12-16.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

• How is Wisdom described in the reading?

• Why does Solomon tell the people to seek Wisdom?

• What will happen to those who seek Wisdom?

In the gospel reading listen to a story about ten bridesmaids.

Read Matthew 25:1-13.

Allow for silence.

• What happens to the ten bridesmaids in the story?

• Why are the foolish bridesmaids unable to attend the banquet?

• What does Jesus teach about the kingdom of God?

Scripture Background

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

The Book of Wisdom is the last of the Old Testament scriptures to be written. Solomon is given credit for the Book of Wisdom. In today’s reading, Wisdom is described as radiant and unfading. For those who seek her, Wisdom is easily found. Solomon tells the people to seek Wisdom and they will not be disappointed. This passage reminds us that God is always present, but we need to seek God with perseverance.

Today’s gospel alerts us to persevere and be ready. Jesus tells the story of ten bridesmaids waiting to welcome the groom to a wedding banquet. All of the women took lamps, but only five came prepared with extra oil. When the foolish bridesmaids went off to get more oil, the five others remained, and they greeted the bridegroom when he came. When the five foolish bridesmaids returned, the door was closed and they could not get into the wedding banquet. In today’s parable, the wedding banquet represents God’s kingdom and the coming bridegroom is Christ. For all listeners, the story makes a strong statement about perseverance in prayerful watchfulness and living in readiness for the Lord’s coming.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

• What does it mean to seek God?

• How does today’s gospel teach us to be prayerful and ready?

• What do we need to be ready for?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
Perseverance in Prayer
Prayer connects us with God. The relationship that exists between God and us needs expression and attention. Time spent with God in prayer helps us to become closer to God.

There are some obstacles to prayer that exist in our lives. We may be too busy with friends and activities to take the time to pray. Or, when we take the time to pray, we may not be totally honest with God. Although there are difficulties in prayer, Catholics believe that we should continue to pray. We persevere because the Church teaches that God desires our communication. God wants us to pray. As in any friendship and relationship, we must make an effort to communicate. Communication nourishes the relationship and without it the relationship dies. This does not mean that God will stop loving us, it simply means that we can separate ourselves from God. We persevere in prayer to deepen our love for God. We don’t just turn to God when we have problems. We pray because we trust in God’s goodness and love.

• What is prayer?
• What is important in any relationship?
• When do you find it hard to pray?

Sacrament Connection
Prayer is a gift, which is sustained by the Holy Spirit. In the Sacrament of Confirmation the Holy Spirit comes to strengthen us to live as followers of Christ.

The Gospel in Life
How can you spend more time with God in prayer this week?

Posted in: Sessions A