November 19, 2006
Junior High Session
Opening Life Reflection
Allow time for discussion. Someday the world as we know it will come to an end and all those who have been faithful to God will be saved. God does not want anyone to be separated from love. It is the Divine plan for all people to live forever with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
Listening to the Word of God
Read Daniel 12:1-3.
Scripture Discussion Starters
In the gospel reading listen to how Jesus will come again in glory.
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. In the end time, the wise will be exalted for leading others to righteousness.
Today’s gospel 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 faithful will be saved.
These 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 can 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
Catholics believe that every person undergoes personal judgment. Immediately after death Christ will determine whether or not a person has lived a life in cooperation with God’s grace. Personal judgment differs from final judgment. Final judgment concerns all of human history.
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.
• Explain your thoughts and feelings about the final judgment.
The Gospel in Life
Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition