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

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Junior High Session
Amos 6:1a, 4-7
Luke 16:19-31


Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Loving and generous God,
You have blessed us with so much, but you want us to care for the poor.
Help us to be mindful of those who are in need.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

The theme for today is justice for the poor. To begin invite the young people to brainstorm what keeps people from seeing the needs of the poor. Write down their responses. Explain that there is a widening gap between the rich and poor in the United States today. Discuss:

  • What keeps some wealthy people from noticing the poor?
  • How can modern comforts of life keep people from caring about others?
  • How can you become more aware of the poor in your city?

Allow time for discussion. Wealth and possessions can keep people from seeing the disturbing effects of poverty. Justice for the poor demands that we become aware of the needs of the poor so that we can act on their behalf.


Listening to the Word of God

In the Old Testament reading listen to a warning from the prophet Amos.

Read Amos 6:1a, 4-7.

Allow for silence.


Scripture Discussion Starters

  • Who does Amos warn?
  • What does Amos warn against?
  • What will happen to those who lounge around in comfort?

In the Gospel today listen to a story about justice for the poor.

Read Luke 16:19-31.

Allow for silence.

  • In the story, what does Lazarus want from the rich man?
  • Does the rich man notice Lazarus when he is alive?
  • Where does the poor man go when he dies?
  • Where does the rich man go when he dies?
  • Why does Jesus tell this parable?


Scripture Background

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

In the Old Testament reading today the prophet Amos warns the self-satisfied that they are headed for destruction. The wealthy who ignore God’s demand for justice will be the first to go into exile. In this reading, the rich are called to task because they are blinded by their comforts. They do not see the needs of others. The people close their hearts to compassion, which earns them destruction.

In today’s gospel Jesus tells a parable about a rich man and a poor man named Lazarus. In the story Lazarus is hungry, sick, and crippled and he cries out to the rich man for help. Lazarus receives no mercy from the rich man who ignores him. Comfortable with his abundance, the rich man does not notice the beggar at his feet.

After death, the fortunes of the two are reversed. Lazarus rests “in the bosom of Abraham,” while the rich man suffers. The rich man is condemned for his hardness of heart.

The story in today’s Gospel makes the point that caring for the poor is the responsibility of all God’s people. Compassionate concern for the poor leads to life everlasting.


Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • What message does the story of “The Rich Man and Lazarus” have for us today?
  • How are people today blinded by their comforts?
  • Why is it important to be aware that poverty exists in the world today?

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


Doctrinal Discussion Starters

Social Justice: Part II

Catholic social teaching on justice acknowledges that sinful inequalities affect millions of people throughout the world. These unfair conditions keep people from having what they need to live healthy lives. This inequality goes against Jesus’ gospel message.

As Catholic Christians, we are called to work for justice. It is our responsibility to fight against the unequal conditions that cause poverty. Catholic social teaching reminds us to never become so comfortable with what we have that we forget the needs of the poor.

  • How can you learn about the unequal conditions that exist in the world?
  • Why is it important to be concerned about the welfare of others?
  • What can be done to fight poverty?


The Gospel in Life

This week how can you learn more about unfair conditions that cause poverty?


Connection to Faith First® Legacy Edition
At Home Family Guide, theme 13
Junior High, Church History, chapter 12
Junior High, Morality, chapter 5

Posted in: Sessions C