Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, Primary

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Primary Session

Matthew 15:21-28

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.

Dear Jesus, during your life on earth you cared for people who were sick.

Thank you for showing us how to help and care for others.

In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

The topic for today is the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. Provide one Band-Aid for each child and draw a large outline of a person on a sheet of poster paper. To begin brainstorm with the children how they can show kindness toward people who are sick or in pain. Invite the children to come forward and stick their Band-Aid on the poster and share their response with the large group. Discuss:

• Who helps you when you are sick?

• How can you help a friend or family member who is sick?

• How does Jesus help us when we are sick or in pain?

Allow time for discussion. Jesus healed many people during his life on earth. The Church continues to help those who are sick today through the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick.

Listening to the Word of God

In the gospel today listen to learn how Jesus heals a girl who is sick.

Read Matthew 15:21-28.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

• Who asks Jesus for help?

• What do the disciples want Jesus to do?

• What does Jesus say about the woman’s faith?

• Why does Jesus heal the woman’s daughter? Scripture Background

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

In today’s gospel a Canaanite woman keeps shouting at Jesus for help. The woman is bothering the disciples and they want to get rid of her. Matthew wrote this passage at a time when the Jewish people in his community disliked the Canaanites. At first Jesus’ response to the woman is surprising. He tells her that he has come to save only Israel. But the woman keeps asking Jesus to help her daughter. She has faith in Jesus. The woman does not give up.

Jesus cures the Canaanite woman’s daughter of a demon. Jesus tells the woman that her faith is the reason for the healing. By this miracle Jesus shows how important it is to have faith in him. Jesus’ help for the Canaanite woman shows that he cares for all people.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

• How does the woman show her faith in Jesus?

• Why is it important to have faith in Jesus?

• When do you ask Jesus for help? [If you are not going to continue with the doctrinal discussion, proceed to the Gospel in Life.]

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick
God sent Jesus into the world to heal the sick. Sickness is not a punishment from God. Throughout his life on earth Jesus cared for those who were sick. This ministry of healing continues in the Church today through the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. The sacrament of Anointing of the Sick brings God’s healing power to those who are sick or dying.

Our family takes care of us when we are sick. Our Church family also helps us. Through the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, the Church prays for us and we are anointed with healing oil. The sacrament of Anointing of the Sick brings the healing touch of Jesus to those who are ill, elderly, or dying.

• How does your family care for you when you are sick?
• How does your Church family care for you when you are sick?
• What is the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick?

Sacrament Connection
The Church calls the sacraments of Anointing of the Sick and Reconciliation, Sacraments of Healing. These Sacraments continue Jesus’ ministry of healing and forgiveness in the world today. The Sacraments of Anointing of the Sick and Reconciliation celebrate God’s healing power in times of sin, sickness, and death.

The Gospel in Life

What can you do this week to help someone who is sick?

Posted in: Sessions A