Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, Junior High

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Junior High Session
Isaiah 50:5-9a
Mark 8:27-35

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
O Lord,
You are with us when we go through difficult times. Give us the strength we need when our troubles seem almost too much to bear. Help us do our best and we ask this through Jesus Christ, your son. Amen.

Opening Life Reflection

On a large sheet of paper draw a cross. Give each person an index card and ask him/her to write about a time of true sacrifice. It could be a time of personal sacrifice or a sacrifice made by someone else. Place these cards on the cross and hang the cross in a prominent place as a reminder that Jesus walks with us.

Listening to the Word of God

Isaiah encourages the Israelites who are in exile with him.
Read Isaiah 50:5-9a
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

  • Why do the Israelites need to be encouraged by Isaiah?
  • How is Isaiah similar to what we know about Jesus?
  • Who are the people tormenting Isaiah and what have they done to him?

Listen to the way people answer Jesus’ questions, “Who do people say that I am?”
Read Mark 8:27-35
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

  • What were some of the responses Jesus heard to his question?
  • What did the disciples learn from Jesus about the future?
  • Why do you suppose it was still hard for Peter and the disciples to understand what Jesus was trying to tell them?

Scripture Background

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

Jesus makes it clear that he is the Son of Man and will suffer before he comes into his kingdom. It is at this point in Mark’s Gospel where Jesus moves from the work of his mission and begins his journey toward Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, he will suffer, die, be buried, and rise from the dead. The disciples understand that Jesus is the Son of God, but they are still thinking in terms of the earthly honor that goes with the title of Messiah. Peter can’t believe such things could happen to someone destined to greatness and argues with Jesus. Jesus knows these things must happen and tells Peter to get behind him and follow. To follow, Peter, the disciples, and all who have come after them, must suffer as a servant for God, putting others before themselves.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • Why was it so important to Jesus that Peter and disciples understood what he was saying?
  • How did the followers of Jesus make sacrifices?
  • What sacrifices do we make today to follow Jesus?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters

We believe in Jesus and want to follow him, but we can’t do this alone. We need each other. Every Sunday we make a statement of our belief when we recite the creed. In the two creeds we most often say as Catholics (the Nicene Creed and the Apostles’ Creed), we state our belief that God’s self-revelation came in the person of Jesus. While we praise God and give thanks, we also affirm and make a commitment to our faith in that belief. Our response to follow Jesus means that we put others before ourselves.

  • How do we live out what we believe about God?
  • Why is it important that all believers work together to witness the Good News?
  • How have you seen others show their love for God through their actions?

Sacrament Connection

The Sacrament of Matrimony is celebrated when two baptized people are united in marriage. The man and woman joined in matrimony become a sign of Christ’s love for the Church and they form a new family, sometimes called the domestic Church. This new family is a place for practicing discipleship as family members often put other people’s needs before their own.

The Gospel in Life

What will you do this week to put your faith into action?

Posted in: Sessions B