Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, Primary

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Primary Session
John 6:60-69

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Dear God, you show your love for us each and every day.
Help us to see your goodness in the world around us.
Thank you for always loving us.
In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Opening Life Reflection
God loves us unconditionally. The gift of faith helps us to see God's love in the world around us. To help the children understand the kind of love that God has for us, read the book Mama, Do You Love Me? by Barbara M. Josse. In this tender story a young Inuit girl tests the limits of her independence, and a mother reassuringly proves that a parent's love is unconditional and everlasting. If the book is not available share some examples of unconditional love with the children. Discuss the following:

• Who are the people who love you, no matter what?
• Is there anything we can do to make God stop loving us?
• Where do you see God's love in the world around you?

Like the mother in this story, God loves us first and always. The experiences we have with unconditional love are glimpses of the kind of love that God has for us. We recognize God's love through the gift of faith.

Listening to the Word of God
In the gospel today, people follow Jesus because they are given the gift of faith.

Read John 6:60-69.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters
• Why did some of the people decide not to follow Jesus?
• Who stayed with Jesus? Why?

Scripture Background

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

In today's gospel Jesus teaches his followers about his important mission. Some of the listeners could not believe that God loved them enough to send Jesus whom, "came down from heaven." These people find Jesus' teaching hard to accept and they decide not to follow him.

The twelve disciples choose to stay with Jesus. They do not turn away from God's love. Jesus makes it clear that God gave them the gift of faith so that they could follow Jesus. The twelve disciples who stay with Jesus accept the message that Jesus came to bring love and forgiveness into the world.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

• Why is it hard for some people to have faith in Jesus?
• What helps you to follow in Jesus?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
The gift of faith
God's love for us is unconditional which means that God is always there for us no matter what. Catholics believe that God loves us first and we are given the gift of faith to love God in return. Faith is something that grows throughout our lives as we listen to and follow Jesus.

Catholics show their faith in Jesus by bringing God's love into the world. It is not always easy to follow Jesus, but God promises to help us.

• Name some people you know who have faith in God. How do these people show that they have faith?

The Gospel in Life
Where do you find examples of God's love in the world around you?

Posted in: Sessions B