Thirty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, Junior High

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Junior High Session

Wisdom 6:12-16

Matthew 25:1-13

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.

Loving God, you invite us to spend time with you in prayer.

Help us take the time to grow in your love.

In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

The theme for today is perseverance in prayer. To begin provide the youngsters with paper and pencils, and invite them to write a prayer to God in their own words. Take a few moments of quiet reflection and invite the young people to bring their thoughts and feelings to God. Discuss:

• What is prayer?
• What are some different forms of prayer?
• When do you pray?

Allow time for discussion. Prayer is a gift that helps us grow closer to God. Our relationship with God needs attention, so it is important that we persevere in prayer.

Listening to the Word of God
In the Old Testament reading listen to what Solomon advises the people about seeking 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 perseverance and readiness.

Read Matthew 25:1-13.

Allow for silence.

• What happens in today’s gospel story?

• What does the story teach about perseverance and readiness?

• Why does Jesus tell the story of the ten bridesmaids?

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 a state of readiness for the Lord’s coming.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

• Why are those who seek God, not disappointed?

• 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 Starter
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 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 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.

• Why is prayer a gift from God?
• Why is communication important in any relationship?
• What are some obstacles to prayer?

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 improve your prayer life this week?

Posted in: Sessions A