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Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B
September 24, 2006

Junior High Session
Wisdom 2:12, 17-20
Mark 9:30-37

Opening Prayer
Let us pray.
Jesus our friend and guide,
You show us true greatness by your example of humble service.
Help us to see your face in the poor and vulnerable so that we may be your servants.
Through Christ our Lord we pray. Amen.

Opening Life Reflection
• How would you describe greatness?
• Name some people that you look up to because of their greatness.

Allow time for discussion. Make the connection to Jesus’ message that the first shall be last and the servant of all.

Listening to the Word of God
The reading from the Old Testament today predicts the suffering and death of God’s servant.
Read Wisdom 2:12, 17-20.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters
• Why is the righteous man being tested?
• If the man is true, how will he be protected?
• Whose suffering and death does this reading remind us of?

In the gospel today Jesus defines true greatness.
Read Mark 9:30-37.
Allow for silence.

• What does Jesus try to tell his disciples?
• Do the disciples understand what Jesus is trying to tell them?
• Why don’t the disciples ask Jesus to explain what he is telling them?
• What do the disciples argue about on the way?
• What does Jesus say to them about who is the greatest?

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

In the first reading from the Book of Wisdom, we hear about a righteous man who is being tested. At the time that this book was written, it was understood by some that the wicked believed that everything ends at death. Therefore they rejected living on behalf of what is good and right in favor of immediate satisfaction in life. The just, however, believed in life after death, so they were encouraged to work on behalf of what is good and right in the present. In today’s reading, the just man is persecuted and tested. This passage prepares us for the prediction of Christ’s passion that we will hear in today’s gospel.

Today’s gospel contains the prediction of Jesus’ passion. Jesus tells his disciples about how he is going to be betrayed and killed. The disciples respond with silence. They are afraid to ask Jesus what he means by this prediction. We can imagine how lonely Jesus must have felt when his own friends could not understand him.

In today’s gospel we also find the disciples arguing about whom is the greatest among them. This would not have been an unusual conversation for the time. Determining what honor was due each person was a common discussion. However, Jesus’ response was unusual and poignant. He tells his disciples that whoever wants to be first must be last and the servant of all. Jesus takes a small child into his arms and say’s “whoever welcomes such a child in my name welcomes me.” The small child represents all that are small, powerless and vulnerable. Jesus makes the point that a person’s greatness is determined by how well she/he serves the most vulnerable.

Questions for Deeper Reflection
• Do you think that Jesus felt alone when he was trying to tell his disciples about what was going to happen to him? Why or Why not?
• How does Jesus’ message that the first shall be last challenge your understanding of greatness?
• Who are viewed as small and powerless in our society?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
The Call to Service

Jesus came into the world to serve. The followers of Jesus are called to continue the work of service. Ultimately, Jesus gave his life for the people he served. Jesus was not the kind of leader who wanted people to worship him for his greatness. Instead, he came as a humble servant who responded to the needs of others with love and compassion.

As Catholic Christians, we are called to a life of service. The baptized continue the work of Jesus and serve the needs of the poor and most vulnerable. We work for peace, care for the sick, stand up for the poor and visit the imprisoned with the understanding that by doing these works we serve Jesus.

• How can you use your talents to help serve your community?
• What can you do to become more aware of the needs in your community?
• Who are the most vulnerable in your school?
• How can you reach out to them?

The Gospel in Life
Notice and reach out to someone at school or in your neighborhood who is feeling lonely or friendless.

Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition
At Home Family Guide, theme 23
Junior High, Church History, chapter 6

Connecting to Faith First®
At Home Family Guide, theme 23
Junior High, Creed and Prayer, chapter 23
Junior High, Liturgy and Morality, chapter 22


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