Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session

Isaiah 5:1-7

Matthew 21:33-43

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.

God, our Creator, thank you for all the blessings of creation.

Help us to respect life and care for your kingdom.

In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

The topic for today is divine justice and judgment. To begin divide a chalkboard or large sheet of poster paper in two sections. Title the first section, “good grapes” and title the second section, “sour grapes.” Invite the children to brainstorm some caring actions that they can participate in at home or at school. Write their responses in the “good grapes” section. Then invite the children to brainstorm some hurtful actions that they may participate in at home or at school. Write their responses in the “sour grapes” section.

• How do caring actions spread God’s goodness?
• How can hurtful actions cause harm to others?
• How can you participate in caring actions at home and in school?

Allow time for discussion. God cares about all of creation. We are like “good grapes” when we care for others and spread God’s goodness.

Listening to the Word of God

In the Old Testament, reading listen to what Isaiah tells the people about how to care for God’s vineyard.

Read Isaiah 5:1-7.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

• In Isaiah’s story, what grows in the vineyard?

• Why does Isaiah warn the people of Israel?

• What does Isaiah tell the people about caring for God’s vineyard?

In the gospel today, listen to Jesus teach about producing good fruit for God’s kingdom.

Read Matthew 21:33-43.

Allow for silence.

• What story does Jesus tell?

• How do the tenants treat the vineyard owner?

• What does Jesus teach about producing good fruit for God’s kingdom?

Scripture Background

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

In the first reading from the Old Testament the prophet Isaiah uses the example of a vineyard to show how God cares for his people. Isaiah sings about a friend who did all he could for a new vineyard. He picked the best spot. He weeded and cleared the stones. The vineyard owner planted the best vines and he waited for the vineyard to produce good grapes and wine. But only wild grapes grew and the vineyard owner became angry. So he threatened to allow the vineyard to become a wasteland. Isaiah tells this story to show the people of Israel that as God’s chosen vines in God’s vineyard; they were not bearing good fruit. Therefore, Israel deserved God’s anger. God’s people were mistreating the weak and powerless. The prophet warns that mistreating others will destroy Israel’s close relationship with God.

In today’s gospel we also find a story of a landowner and his vineyard. Jesus tells this parable to warn the chief priests and elders of his time that they were destroying the vineyard. He points out that their responsibility was to care for the vineyard and yield a rich harvest. With the example of a landowner and his vineyard, Jesus shows the importance of respecting life and sharing God’s goodness. In this passage all believers are warned that the kingdom of God will be taken away from those who do not care for it and given to people who bear good fruit. God’s divine justice and judgment will prevail in the end.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

• How do today’s readings show God’s care for creation?

• How do we show that we care for God’s creation?

• Why is it important to bear “good fruit”?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
Divine Justice and Judgment
God is our Creator who rules over all things. God is good, and created the world in goodness, beauty, and order. God is always aware of what we do and how it helps or hinders the good that God desires for us. God wants us to make good choices that respect life.

We can grow in our ability to make right choices. Sometimes we make wrong choices. When we choose to turn away from God and commit sin, we hurt our relationship with God and others. God offers us the forgiveness of sins through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Even when we sin, we can accept the forgiveness that God offers. We are created to live in right relationship with God and one another.

Catholic teaching emphasizes that at the time of our death there is a judgment that takes place. At the time of judgement we either receive heaven, purgatory or hell. Heaven is eternal union and happiness with God. Purgatory offers an opportunity to purify and grow in our love for God before we enter heaven. Hell is the everlasting separation from God. Divine judgement is based on what we have done in our lives. God calls us to live fruitful lives, to respect and care for one another and all of God’s creation.

• How did God create the world?
• How does God want us to live in the world?
• How do you show respect and care for others?

Sacrament Connection
Through the sacrament of Baptism, we are called to live as God’s children and to bear good fruit as we live our lives.

The Gospel in Life
What is one thing that you can do this week to care for God’s creation?

Posted in: Sessions A