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Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B
October 29, 2006

Junior High Session
Jeremiah 31:7-9
Mark 10:46-52

Opening Prayer
Let us pray.
God our creator,
You gather us to you and call us to be our best selves.
Guide us on life’s journey and help us to live as disciples.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Opening Life Reflection
Begin today’s session by sharing the story of a person who was true to the call to friendship: A young woman was diagnosed with anorexia and her best friend stayed by her side. It was not always easy, it was frustrating and painful at times but this friend rose to the occasion. When the young person with anorexia began the process of recovery her friend wrote her often with words of encouragement and hope. To this day the young woman credits her best friend as the one who helped to get her through the darkest moments.

We all know or have heard of ordinary people who have done extraordinary things. Discuss:
• Can you think of an ordinary person who has done something that you admire? Explain.
• Have you ever rose to the occasion and done something extraordinary? Explain.

Our baptism in Christ calls us to do extraordinary things. We are called to holiness. Sometimes when we think of holiness we imagine having to be faultless. However the call to holiness is lived out in ordinary ways such as when we remain true to a friend, or when we stand up for something we believe. Living out the call to holiness is not always easy, but the Holy Spirit gives us the courage we need to do extraordinary things and make God’s love a reality in the world.

Listening to the Word of God
The first reading proclaims that God has delivered the chosen people. Listen to God’s message of hope.
Read Jeremiah 31:7-9.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters
• Why does this reading offer hope?
• Who will be gathered from the ends of the world?
• Where will the people be led?

In the gospel today Jesus cures a blind man. Listen to the call of Jesus.

Read Mark 10:46-52.
Allow for silence.

• Why did the blind man call out to Jesus?
• Did Jesus call to Bartimaeus?
• How did Bartimaeus respond to Jesus’ call?
• According to Jesus, what saved Bartimaeus?
• In what way was Bartimaeus already able to see?

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

In the first reading a joyful announcement is made that God’s people are delivered. The people can shout for joy and give praise to God because—along with the blind and the lame—they will be gathered from all ends of the earth. We learn that God will console and guide the people of Israel, leading them to streams of water. Because this reading from Jeremiah refers to God gathering in the blind, it relates to today’s gospel story of the cure of blind Bartimaeus. Also the first reading refers to God leading the people to brooks of water which relates to baptism and the water of life.

The gospel story of the cure of Bartimaeus alludes to the call to discipleship. Bartimaeus is blind yet he calls out to Jesus, “Son of David”. This title for Jesus implies that although Bartimaeus is blind, he sees Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus stops and says to his disciples, “call him.” When Bartimaeus hears the call of Jesus he leaps toward him. Bartimaeus asks Jesus to heal him of his blindness. Jesus sends Bartimaeus on his way saying that his faith has healed him.

Jesus calls Bartimaeus to see. With his gift of sight Bartimaeus recognizes Jesus for who he really is. After hearing Jesus’ call, there is no turning back. The only choice for Bartimaeus is to follow Jesus on the way.

Questions for Deeper Reflection
• How is Jesus calling you?
• What is your response to Jesus?
• Do you ever call on Jesus for help?
• When has your faith saved you?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
The Common Priesthood of the Baptized

Catholics believe that through the sacrament of baptism, all God’s people share in the common priesthood and every Christian is called to holiness. The waters of baptism offer God’s people new life in Christ. The faithful live out their baptismal call through a life of faith, hope and love. With the help of the Holy Spirit, the baptized discover and use their gifts to live as disciples and make God’s love a reality in the world.

The ordained priesthood of bishops and priests is not the same as the common priesthood. Rather, it is at the service of the common priesthood of all believers. Jesus Christ is the source of all ministries in the Church.

• Recall your baptism. How do you live out your baptismal call today?
• How do the ordained priests in your parish serve the faithful community?
• What does sharing in the common priesthood mean to you?
• How do young people today live out the call to holiness in their everyday lives?

The Gospel in Life
This week examine how you live out your call to holiness at home, in school, and with friends.

Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition
At Home Family Guide, theme 27
Junior High, Church and Sacraments, chapter 12

Connecting to Faith First®
At Home Family Guide, theme 27
Junior High, Liturgy and Morality, chapter 9


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