Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session

Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10
Luke 12:49-53


Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Loving and faithful God,
We know it is not always easy to follow your ways. Jesus knew it would be hard for us, too, and that divisions might result. Help us work to stay whole. Give us strength and courage to hear your words and do your will even if some people don’t like us for it. We ask this and all things through Jesus Christ.


Opening Life Reflection

Head a large sheet of paper with the words “good vs. evil.” Write down (or illustrate) as many combinations that come to mind using heroes and villains from cartoons, movies, stories, etc. Describe the circumstances that made half of the pair good and the other have evil.

  • Why do movie (cartoon) villains not like what the hero does?
  • How are we similar to both the “good guys” and the “bad guys”?
  • What are some times when it is easier to do the wrong thing rather than the right thing?

After everyone has shared ideas, make connections from this discussion to the Gospel challenge of following Jesus.


Listening to the Word of God

Jeremiah has a message from God in the first reading today from the Old Testament. The message is not very popular among the people.

Read Jeremiah 38:4-6, 8-10

Allow for silence.


Scripture Discussion Starters

  • What kind of a king do you think Zedekiah was? Was he strong or weak?
  • What did the princes do with Jeremiah?
  • How did the king’s worker help save Jeremiah?

Jesus tells the people in today’s gospel that making a commitment to follow him will not be easy.

Read Luke 12:49-53

Allow for silence.

  • What does Jesus mean when he speaks of his baptism and fire?
  • In what ways are Jesus and Jeremiah similar?
  • Why do you think Jesus made this message so harsh?


Scripture Background

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

Prior to this passage, Jeremiah advised King Zedekiah not to fight against the Babylonian invasion. The king’s advisors said Jeremiah was a traitor. Jeremiah begged the people to listen to God and go peacefully but they would not. The advisors threw Jeremiah into a muddy well and left him to die there. One of the king’s officials went to the king and said that it was wrong for Jeremiah to die. The king changed his mind and allowed Jeremiah to be saved.

The reading from Luke’s Gospel shows that following Jesus isn’t something we can do part way. Either we are yes or no; right or wrong. The good news is that Jesus is there to help us. He points out that some hard challenges face him, too. We will either follow him or we won’t. The results of our decision will separate us from others, even our own family.


Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • Have any of your relationships ever changed because you follow Jesus?
  • How do you stand up for Jesus?
  • When have you had to follow Jesus and do something that was difficult but right?

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


Doctrinal Discussion Starters

The Way of Christ

Our baptism challenges us to proclaim God’s love through our actions and words. We have two choices for ways to live. We can either do things that are right, or we can do things that are wrong. To live eternally with God, we must choose to live the right way. God is there to help us because we believe that God is stronger than evil. The way of good is the way to Christ. To do wrong, leads to our destruction. By loving Jesus, we can continue the good work God began in each of us.

  • How are we encouraged by others throughout history who have been witnesses to their faith?
  • How does Jesus help us be witnesses to our faith?
  • What is the good work God began in you?


Sacrament Connection

The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation helps us find our way back to Jesus when we have done something wrong. Sometimes we may feel like we’re the only person (or at least one of a few) who try to live like Jesus wants us to. When we gather for the Sacrament of Reconciliation with our parish community, we see that we are strong in numbers. We help one another say “yes” to Jesus by praying for each other during a penance service.

The Gospel in Life

Is there a friend who needs for you to be strong and take a stand for what is right? You may need to take a step that could separate you from the friend by doing the hard thing to try to stop a dangerous behavior.


Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition

At Home Family Guide, theme 14
Grade 4, chapter 17
Grade 5, chapter 18
Grade 6, chapter 19

Posted in: Sessions C