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

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Junior High Session
Wisdom 9:13-18b
Luke 14:25-33


Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Generous and loving God,
send your Holy Spirit to guide our lives.
Help us to grow in wisdom and grace.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

The theme for today is turning one’s life over to God. Begin the session by inviting the young people to create God Boxes. Provide them with small strips of paper, pencils, markers and small cardboard boxes. Have each youngster design his or her own God Box. Explain that the box can be used to put all their cares and concerns in for God to take care of. Allow time for each person to write one or two concerns on the small strips of paper and put them in their God Box. Discuss:

  • Is it difficult to turn over your concerns to God?
  • Do you trust in God’s love for you?
  • What helps you to turn things over to God?

Allow time for discussion. The ability to turn one’s life over to God is a life long spiritual process. When we can let go and let God we are blessed with wisdom and peace.


Listening to the Word of God

In the Old Testament reading listen to learnt what stands in the way of wisdom.
Read Wisdom 9:13-18b.
Allow for silence.


Scripture Discussion Starters

  • What gets in the way of wisdom?
  • What help does the Holy Spirit give?
  • How are the people saved?

In today’s Gospel listen to Jesus tell his followers to put God first.

Read Luke 14:25-33.

Allow for silence.

  • What does Jesus tell his followers?
  • What must those who follow Jesus do?
  • What do Jesus’ followers need to give up?


Scripture Background

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

Today’s reading from the Old Testament points out what is truly important in life. The message is clear--put God first. Throughout the ages people have prayed for wisdom and searched for the meaning of life. Today’s first reading stresses that wisdom comes from God. Many obstacles can get in the way of wisdom, but the Holy Spirit provides guidance and direction.

In today’s Gospel Jesus tells his followers that whoever follows him will need to put God first—before all else. Jesus stresses that living for the kingdom of God must come before family, friends, and life itself.

The Gospel reminds us that following Jesus is not without cost. A disciple must be ready to give up everything for God. The good news is that by turning our lives over to God, we gain life, love and freedom.


Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • How can possessions get in the way of loving God?
  • How can relationships get in the way of loving God?
  • How is freedom gained by turning one’s life over to God?

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


Doctrinal Discussion Starters

Self-Renunciation as Requirement for Discipleship

Jesus tells us that in order to follow him we must give up everything. Jesus modeled this kind of self-emptying when he obeyed his heavenly Father to the point of suffering and dying upon the cross.

Putting the kingdom of God first and turning our lives over to God is a life long spiritual process. As we grow in faith we begin to understand that God wants what is best for us. Growing in trust helps us to give our lives over to God.

When we get too attached to other people or to material things we can forget that God comes first. When we put God first, we are freer to love God and one another.

  • How did Jesus give up everything for God?
  • What does following Jesus require of us?
  • How can you grow in your ability to turn things over to God?


The Gospel in Life

Use your God Box to help you turn things over to God this week.


Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition
At Home Family Guide, theme 20
Junior High, Church and Sacraments, chapter 12
Junior High, Morality, chapter 2

Posted in: Sessions C