Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Junior High

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Junior High Session

Isaiah 66:18-21
Luke 13:22-30


Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Loving God, your love is without limits
and all are welcome in your dwelling place.
Help us to welcome others, especially those who are different from ourselves.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

The topic for today is final judgment. To begin, invite the young people to create a poster for their school which invites students to a school dance. Stress that the poster’s design will need to attract and welcome a diverse population of students from the school. Discuss:

  • Have you ever passed judgment on a person before you got to know him or her?
  • How are young people judged today?
  • Are you accepting of other people who are different from you?

Allow time for discussion. All people are equal in dignity and value in the sight of God. Only God can judge a person’s heart and actions. God invites all people to live in the way of love.


Listening to the Word of God

In the first Old Testament reading listen to how God is coming to gather all people.

Read Isaiah 66:18-21.

Allow for silence.


Scripture Discussion Starters

  • Who is God gathering together?
  • What is the Lord coming to do?
  • Where will all the people worship together?

In the Gospel listen to Jesus describe the final judgement.

Read Luke 13:22-30.

Allow for silence.

  • What question is asked of Jesus?
  • How does Jesus answer the question posed to him?
  • What does Jesus mean by saying, “some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last?”


Scripture Background

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

The first reading from the book of Isaiah was written at a time when certain groups of Jewish people believed that they had special favor with God. The author tries to make the point that God has no favorites. God’s gift of salvation is for all nations and tongues.

The Old Testament reading describes an incredible assembly of people from every corner of the earth coming to Jerusalem, where Jew and Gentile alike will join in worship at the Temple. The Lord even promises that Gentiles will be among those who minister.

The Gospel also speaks of God’s gift of salvation. Jesus is asked a question about who will be saved. Jesus takes the opportunity to warn his fellow Jews that they are no more deserving of salvation than others are. There will be a time of final judgement. And on that day, some that believe that they will be the first to be saved will be last and the last first.

Today’s Gospel stresses that the gift of salvation is for all. People from east and west, from north and south will eat in the Kingdom of God.


Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • Are some people more deserving of God’s favor than others are? Explain.
  • Do you treat others with respect?
  • Do you value yourself as a person with dignity and worth?
  • How can Jesus’ warning that the first shall be last and the last first apply to life today?

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


Doctrinal Discussion Starters

Final Judgment

When it comes to final judgment, Christians put their trust in God. God’s love for each person is eternal and God has power over every evil.

The Church teaches that there are two moments of judgment. When a person dies, God will examine their heart to see if the person has turned toward or away from God’s grace. A judgment will be made based on what that person has done in their lives and their soul will be assigned to heaven, purgatory or hell. This immediate judging after one’s death is called particular judgment.

Final judgment looks to that end-time when Christ will come again bringing the fullness of the kingdom of God. At this end-time, Christ will judge the works and hearts of all people, nations, and times (CCC 679).

Christians are called to the path of life. Those who follow Jesus follow “the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:16). Following the way of Jesus leads to everlasting life.

  • How can you prepare for final judgment?
  • What concerns do you have about the end-time?
  • How can you rely on God’s promise of salvation?


The Gospel in Life

How can you be more aware of living in accordance with God’s grace this week?


Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition

At Home Family Guide, theme 21
Junior High, Mystery of God, chapter 10
Junior High, Church History, chapters 4 and 12

Posted in: Sessions C