Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session
Zechariah 12:10-11; 13:1
Luke 9:18-24

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.

Dear Jesus,
thank you for calling us
to be your disciples.
Help us to live as your disciples,
even when it is difficult.

Opening Life Reflection

Invite the children to think of a time when a parent, friend, or other trusted loved one asked them to do something that was difficult. Invite them to share their stories, reflecting on these questions:

  • How did you feel when your loved one asked you to do something difficult?
  • Did it make a difference that the person who asked is someone who cares for you?
  • How did you decide what to do?

Listening to the Word of God

In this First Reading from the Old Testament, listen to what God promises to the people who mourn.
Proclaim Zechariah 12:10-11.

Allow time for silent reflection.

Scripture Discussion Starters

  • What causes the people to mourn?
  • What does God tell them will happen?
  • What other story from the Bible does this remind you of?

In the Gospel, listen to what Jesus says those who wish to be his followers must do.
Proclaim Luke 9:18-24.
Allow time for silent reflection.

Scripture Discussion Starters

  • Who does Peter say Jesus is? What does that mean?
  • What does Jesus predict will happen to him?
  • What does Jesus say those who wish to be his followers must do?
  • What do you think it means to “take up [your] cross”?

Scripture Background

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

Today’s First Reading was probably chosen to go along with Jesus’ prediction of his Death that we hear in the Gospel. This section of the book of Zechariah is believed to have been written more than three hundred years before Jesus was born. Through the prophet, God is sending a message to Israel: they will be set free from those who hold them captive, but there will be suffering.

In today’s Gospel, Saint Peter identifies Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus tells his disciples that he will suffer and, if they wish to follow him, they, too, will endure suffering.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • Why do you think Jesus tells his disciples that they will have to take up their cross daily?
  • What do you think Jesus means when he says, “Those who lose their life for my sake will save it”?
  • Does knowing that Jesus is the Messiah change the way the disciples hear this message?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters

The Cross in the Life of Jesus’ Followers

Jesus tells his disciples that he will suffer, die, and be raised, and then tells them that, to follow him, they must also take up their cross. Jesus’ Cross is a symbol of great suffering. Jesus’ Death on the Cross is how God defeated evil, so the Cross is also a symbol of God’s victory.

Being a disciple means that we will have times when we suffer and are hurt. Because we can connect our suffering with Jesus’ suffering, God can work through our suffering to help us grow in holiness and grow closer to God.

Being a disciple means doing what Jesus asks of us, even if it isn’t easy, trusting that he is with us and loves us.

The Gospel in Life

Remember that being a disciple won’t always be easy. You will still have hard times and you may have to do things that are difficult. This week, ask Jesus to help you to trust him and to continue to follow him, even when it is difficult.

Posted in: Sessions C