Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, Junior High

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Junior High Session
Job 38:1, 8-11
Mark 4:35-41

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Dear God,
We look to you for protection in the storms of our lives. You have the power to calm our fears. Help us never to forget this and always turn to you when we are afraid. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Opening Life Reflection
Find a picture or image of a stormy sea. Ask participants to imagine that they are in a small boat somewhere in the picture. Invite them to share how they might be feeling in that sea and what they would be hoping for. Perhaps someone has actually had a similar experience and can talk about their feelings at the time and how they feel now looking back at the ordeal.

Listening to the Word of God
This reading from the Book of Job uses nature to show the power of God. Job has no power such as the power of God described in this passage.

Read Job 38:1, 8-11
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

• What did God want Job to understand about the power of God compared to Job’s power?
• Why do you think it is significant that God addressed Job “out of the storm”?
• What “proud waves” might be stilled in Job’s life or in our own?

Mark tells a story of another storm in today’s Gospel. While on the Sea of Galilee, a storm comes up that threatens to capsize their boat.

Read Mark 4:35-41
Allow for silence.

What do you imagine the scene on the boat was just before the disciples awoke Jesus?
• What was the first thing Jesus did when the frightened disciples woke him?
• Why was it important for the disciples to know that Jesus could calm the sea?

Scripture Background

Many people believe that Mark tells this story of the storm at sea to the people of the early Church for a specific purpose. As the story unfolds, Jesus has just left the crowds of Galilee with his disciples and is crossing the Sea of Galilee. Jesus has fallen asleep in the bow of the boat when a sudden storm comes up threatening to capsize the boat. The frightened disciples awaken Jesus, who immediately calms the sea. Once the danger is over, he turns to the disciples and asks why their faith is so weak.

Questions for Deeper Reflection
• What are some events in our world today that are like the storm in today’s Gospel?
• In what ways do we see God calm the storms of our world today?
• How does trust in God help calm the storms in our lives and in our world?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starter
The Power of God
Through creation, we know about God’s great power. Out of love for us, God created the world. From nothingness, the world was created with us in it. The world God created contains both good and evil. The world is not a perfect world but is working toward perfection in the fullness of God’s time. God has promised us eternal life and sent Jesus to us to be our savior. It is this savior, Jesus, who calmed the storm at sea for the disciples, and he will calm the storms in our own lives as well.

• Is there someone you know right now who needs help calming a storm? How will you show them Jesus?
• What do you need to do to deepen your faith and trust in God’s power?
• Where have you seen God calm storms in the world, in your church, at school, or at work?

Sacrament Connection
As difficult as change can sometimes be, we usually grow in the process. Often times change is painful and we may even be the one responsible for the very thing that hurts. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is like Jesus calming the storm. The storm could be the hurtful thing we did, but Jesus loves us and forgives us so we can grow from our experience. God is there to help us be a better person and the calm sea is us living in a way that pleases God.

The Gospel in Life
Stormy seas are everywhere. They are in our personal lives, our schools, neighborhoods, all around the world. What is one thing you will do to help calm one storm this week and how will you ask Jesus to help you?

Posted in: Sessions B