Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, Intermediate

Download PDF

Intermediate Session
Proverbs 9:1-6
John 6:51-58

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Loving God,
You set a banquet before us which offers bread from heaven.
Thank you for the gift of your Son Jesus, who is the bread of life.
Help us to accept your invitation to live in friendship with you forever.
In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Opening Life Reflection

One of the main images for today is sharing a meal. Begin by suggesting that the children imagine that they have been invited to a party. Discuss:

• What is it like to receive an invitation to a party?
• What are some elements that are essential for a good celebration?

Allow time for discussion. Emphasize the importance of food and meal sharing for a good celebration.

Listening to the Word of God

In the Old and New Testament we hear about bread, wine, and the invitation to be nourished by God. Listen to what the first reading from the Old Testament tells us about being invited to a feast.

Read Proverbs 9:1-6.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

• Who is invited to the feast?
• What kind of an occasion is it?
• What gift is being offered at this banquet?

In the Gospel today, listen and learn about the invitation to live with God forever.

Read John 6:51-58.
Allow for silence.

• Why does Jesus describe himself as living bread?
• What gift does Jesus offer those who eat of his flesh and drink his blood?
• Who is invited to live in union with God forever?

Scripture Background

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

The book of Proverbs in the Old Testament teaches us wisdom about life. In the first reading, wisdom is portrayed as a woman giving a banquet. This great feast offers the gift of life to those who choose to accept the invitation.

We depend on food for survival. We cannot live without it. In the Gospel reading today, Jesus calls himself the living bread that came down from heaven. The food that Jesus describes himself to be is not the kind that fills our hunger for a short time only to leave us hungry again. Jesus invites us to feast on bread from heaven, which fills our hearts and souls forever.

Sharing in the meal that is described in this gospel joins us together with Christ and with one another. Jesus describes the Father as his source of life. In the same way those who receive Jesus, receive the gift of God's life within them. The banquet that we are invited to in this reading is one that feeds us with spiritual food. And when we eat this bread, we live forever.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

• At what meal do Catholics eat and drink the body and blood of Jesus?
• What great gift is offered at this celebration?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
The presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist
Catholics believe that Jesus' followers eat his flesh and drink his blood by receiving the Eucharist. The bread and wine we offer at Mass become the body and blood of Christ. Jesus is truly and really present under the appearance of bread and wine. Jesus is also present in his word when the Holy Scriptures are read in Church. And, Jesus Christ is present in the faithful community which gathers together to celebrate mass.

When we share in this Eucharistic meal, we share in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. We become one with Christ and with one another. Through this union, we are given the gift of eternal life.

• How the can you participate more fully at Mass each week?

Sacrament Connection
The miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fish is connected with our belief in the Eucharist. We believe that Jesus is really present with us and nourishes us in the Eucharist. Jesus is the "bread of life."

The Gospel in Life
• How does receiving Jesus in the Eucharist change you?
• How can you bring the loving and healing presence of Christ into the world today?
• How does changing the world for the better begin at home?

Posted in: Sessions B