November 19, 2006
Opening Life Reflection
Explain to the children that they are members of the chosen people of God. Another name for the chosen people is the Elect. As baptized Christians, our names are written in God’s Book of the Elect. The book that we have created today symbolizes that our names are written in the Book of Life, and we are members of God’s family.
Place the Book of the Elect and a pen in a prominent place in the meeting space. After a moment of quiet invite each child to come forward and sign his or her name in the book. (You may choose to play quiet music at this time.) Discuss:
Today’s session will explore the final judgment, when the Elect will be called forth to live in heaven with God forever. Some day the world as we know it will come to an end. It is part of the Divine plan for all people to live in heaven with God forever.
Listening to the Word of God
Read Daniel 12:1-3.
Scripture Discussion Starters
In the gospel reading, listen to hear about the final coming of Jesus.
Read Mark 13:24-32.
• What will happen when the Son of Man comes in glory?
In the Old Testament reading we hear about the end of the world as we know it. This description of the final days is a form of apocalyptic writing. Catholic tradition does not interpret apocalyptic writing literally.
The reading from the Book of Daniel describes a time of great anguish when the people of God will be delivered. Many who sleep in the earth shall awaken to everlasting life. And some will experience shame and horror. This reading declares that at the end of time, the wise will be exalted for leading others to righteousness.
The gospel reading today also describes the end of the world, as we know it. Again a time of great suffering is mentioned. Then, the coming of the Lord on the last day is described with vivid imagery. This reading provides a message of both consolation and hope. The Son of Man will overcome all evil and put an end to suffering and death. The Elect will be saved.
Today’s readings can cause fear and uncertainty about the final days. It is reasonable to fear the possibility of being separated from God. However it is more desirable for love to be the motivating force when it comes to faith. Today’s gospel reading assures us that God will protect and gather up the chosen. We place our hope in the protection and presence of God.
Questions for Deeper Reflection
[If you are not going to continue with the doctrinal discussion, proceed to the Gospel in Life.]
Doctrinal Discussion Starters
Final judgment will occur when Jesus comes again in glory. We believe that the world is currently being renewed by the presence of Christ. In the final days, the world as we know it will be completely transformed into a new and wonderful place.
The last judgment is when God will ultimately triumph over evil and establish a new heaven and earth. Catholics interpret the imagery regarding the end times with eyes of faith. Final judgment is perceived as the glorious revelation of God’s power over evil.
• Describe your thoughts about the final days.
The Gospel in Life
Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition