Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session

Exodus 17:8-13

Luke 18:1-8

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Dear God,
you know all our needs even before we bring them to you.
Thank you for always hearing our prayers.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

The theme for today is petition and intercession in prayer. Provide each child with a small cross cut out of construction paper and a pencil. To begin, invite the children to write a prayer on the cross asking God for something for themselves or asking God for something on behalf of someone else. Discuss:

  • What are some things that you ask God for?
  • Do you ever pray to God for the needs of others?
  • Do you have faith that God will answer your prayers?

Allow time for discussion. God loves and cares for us. God knows our every need. When we pray prayers of petition or intercession we can trust God to answer our prayers.


Listening to the Word of God

In the Old Testament reading listen to how Moses asks God to help the Israelites.

Read Exodus 17:8-13.

Allow for silence.


Scripture Discussion Starters

  • How does Moses ask God to help the Israelites?
  • What does Moses do with his staff?
  • Who helps Moses to pray?
  • Does God answer Moses’ prayer?

In the Gospel Jesus tells a story about a widow and an unjust judge. Listen to Jesus’ message about the need to pray.

Read Luke 18:1-8.

Allow for silence.

  • What story does Jesus tell?
  • What is the judge like in the story?
  • What does the widow do?
  • Why does the judge finally decide to help the widow?
  • What does Jesus teach his followers about praying to God?


Scripture Background

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

In the first reading from the book of Exodus the Israelites win a battle, not through their own military strength, but with the help of God. The fascinating thing about Israel’s victory is how they obtain divine help. Moses is persistent in prayer on behalf of the Israelites and with the help of his assistants, his prayer is answered and Israel is delivered.

In this Old Testament passage Moses acts as a mediator between the people of Israel and God. Moses raises his staff, which represents the protection of Yahweh for the people of Israel. When the staff is raised the Israelites prevail. And when Moses becomes weary from raising his arms, his assistants come to his aid. Finally Moses’ prayer is answered and the Israelites win the battle.

In the Gospel Jesus helps his followers understand God’s willingness to hear and respond to prayers of petition. Jesus tells a parable about a widow and an unjust judge. At the time when this Gospel was written, widows were treated unfairly and were severely disadvantaged. The widow in today’s story uses her voice and her persistence to cry out for justice. She continually comes before the judge asking for fairness. The widow wears down the unjust judge and to keep her from bothering him, he grants her justice.

Jesus challenges his listeners to examine their hearts to see how insistent they are in calling upon God, who is a just judge. The point that Jesus makes in this parable is that if the unjust judge is willing to grant the widow’s request, how much more willing is God to answer our prayers.

  • How are you like the widow in the story?
  • How is God like the judge in the story?
  • How is God different from the judge in the story?
  • Do you try not to give up when you ask God for something in prayer?

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


Doctrinal Discussion Starters

Petition and Intercession in Prayer

Prayers of petition and prayers of intercession are two basic forms of prayer taught in our Catholic Tradition. Prayers of petition ask God for something for oneself and intercessory prayers ask God for something for another.

As human beings we understand our limitations and sinfulness. We need to rely on the love and goodness that only God can provide. Catholics understand that asking forgiveness for our sins is the first priority in petitioning God in prayer. When we ask for forgiveness we recognize our need for God and God responds with mercy and love.

Intercessory prayer is a special sort of petition. When we petition God on behalf of others we pray as Jesus did. Jesus is the mediator who intercedes for us before God.

Asking God for something in prayer is an act of faith. The scriptures make it clear that God is willing to hear and answer our prayers.

  • When do you ask God for forgiveness?
  • What does the Church teach about prayers of petition and intercession?
  • What helps you trust that God will answer your prayers?


The Gospel in Life

Think of one thing that you would like to ask God for on behalf of someone else this week and pray a prayer of intercession.

Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition

At Home Family Guide, themes 16 and 17
Grade 4, chapter 25
Grade 5, chapter 25
Grade 6, chapter 25

Posted in: Sessions C