Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session

Malachi 3:19-20a
Luke 21:5-19

 

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
O God, where children are hungry, help us bring justice.
Where people are homeless, help us bring justice.
Where there is violence and war, help us bring justice.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.
Amen.

 

Opening Life Reflection

The theme for today is justice. To begin divide the large group into small groups of three or four. Provide each group with a large sheet of newsprint paper and markers. Explain that when we take action against hunger and homelessness, and when we work for peace, we promote justice. Invite the children to think of ways that they can promote justice in their communities and in the world and have each group illustrate their ideas on the newsprint paper. Then, give each group an opportunity to share their ideas with the large group and hang the newsprint papers around the room. Discuss:

  • How can you promote justice in your community?
  • When do you see people being treated unfairly?
  • How can you show respect for the rights of others?

Allow time for discussion. The virtue of justice helps us to stand up for the rights of all people. When we help those who are hungry, homeless, and poor, we promote justice.

 

Listening to the Word of God

In the Old Testament reading today listen to learn about justice in the final days.
Read Malachi 3:19-20a.
Allow for silence.

 

Scripture Discussion Starters

  • What will happen in the final days?
  • What will happen to evildoers?
  • How will the righteous be protected?

In the Gospel today learn what Jesus tells his followers about justice in the final days.

Read Luke 21:5-19.

Allow for silence.

  • What does Jesus tell his followers about the final days?
  • What do the people ask Jesus?
  • What warning does Jesus give?
  • How does Jesus offer hope and reassurance to his followers?

 

Scripture Background

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

The Old Testament reading today calls to mind the end times. Malachi is writing for a growing number of people who are straying away from God. This passage gives the people a wake-up call to examine their lives and get back on track morally. The prophet speaks of a coming “day of the Lord,” which will bring judgment upon them, punishing the guilty and rewarding the just.

In the gospel Jesus predicts the terrifying events of the end times. Jesus tells of the destruction of the beautiful temple and of wars, earthquakes, famines and plagues. Believers will be persecuted because of Jesus’ name. Jesus warns listeners not to be led astray.

Yet, amidst these devastating predictions Jesus offers his followers reassurance and hope. Out of persecution comes the opportunity for believers to testify and stand up for their faith. The faithful have reason to trust in Jesus who will provide words of wisdom. Even in the face of death Jesus promises that “not a hair of your head will be harmed.”

 

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • What do these readings tell us about the final days?
  • What helps you get through hard times?
  • How does Jesus offer you comfort and hope?

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

 

Doctrinal Discussion Starters

Justice

As Catholic Christians we are called to work for justice. Working for justice includes standing up for the rights of all people so that they can live with dignity and hope. Pope John XXIII outlined basic human rights as the right to life and a worthwhile manner of living, the right which respects one’s person regardless of sex, ethnic background, religion or nationality, the right to freely pursue and express the truth, the right to a basic education, the right to worship, the right to gainful work, decent working conditions and proper compensation, the right to meet and associate, and the right to emigrate (Richard P. McBrien, Catholicism, New Edition, Harper SanFrancisco, p944).

Justice is a quality of faithful persons who love God and therefore love their neighbor. Justice is the virtue that helps us work for changes in our community and world in order to protect the rights of others. In the words of Pope Paul VI: “If you want peace, work for justice.”

  • What groups or organizations exist to promote justice throughout the world?
  • How does the Church promote justice throughout the world?
  • Why are Christians called to stand up for the rights of all people?

 

The Gospel in Life

This week find out about groups or organizations that exist in your community to help promote justice.

 

Connection to Faith First® Legacy Edition

At Home Family Guide, theme 13
Grade 4, chapter 20
Grade 5, chapter 17
Grade 6, chapter 8

Posted in: Sessions C