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Third Sunday of Easter – Year C
April 22, 2007

Junior High Session
Acts 5:27-32, 40-41
John 21:1-19

Opening Prayer
Let us pray.
Jesus, Bread of Life,
you made yourself known to your followers
in the breaking of bread.
Help us remember that we are called
to be bread for the world.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.
Amen.

Opening Life Reflection
On this Third Sunday of Easter, the Risen Christ is recognized in the sharing of a meal. For today’s session bring a loaf of Easter bread (or any kind of bread) to share. To begin, set the bread in a basket in the center of the room and invite the young people to reflect on how bread is a source of nourishment.
• What gives you strength and nourishment?
• Why is Jesus called the Bread of Life?

Allow time for discussion. As food feeds and nourishes the body, God feeds and nourishes us. The first disciples recognized the resurrected Jesus through breaking bread together.

Listening to the Word of God
In the first reading from Acts listen to how the apostles are persecuted.

Read Acts 5:27-32, 40-41.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters
• What are the apostles accused of doing?
• How do they respond to the accusations?
• How are the apostles persecuted?
• What reaction do the apostles have to their suffering?

In the today’s gospel the resurrected Jesus appears to the disciples. Listen to how they recognize him.

Read John 21:1-19.
Allow for silence.

• Are the disciples catching any fish?
• What does Jesus tell them to do?
• What happens when the disciples do what Jesus tells them?
• What meal do they share together?
• When do the disciples recognize the resurrected Jesus?
• What does Jesus ask Peter three times?
• How does Peter answer Jesus?
• What does Jesus ask Peter to do?

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

In the first reading from Acts, the apostles are interrogated by the High Priest because they are teaching in the name of Jesus, when they have been given orders not to. Peter and the apostles courageously claim that they obey God and not any human authority. The power of the Holy Spirit is evident in the lives of the apostles as they face persecution. They go on their way rejoicing that they are willing and worthy to suffer for the sake of Jesus Christ.

Today’s gospel begins with the disciples having little success catching fish. Then Jesus appears and tells them where to cast their nets. The result is a catch so great that the nets are bulging. This passage reminds us of the beginning of John’s gospel, when the call of the disciples to share in the mission of Jesus is described in terms of catching fish. The full nets in today’s gospel suggest that the disciples will take on their mission of evangelization with great success.

The breakfast that is shared on the beach brings the substance of the work of Jesus and the disciples to the table. And in breaking bread together all the disciples know that the Risen Lord is with them.

After the meal Jesus asks the disciple, who betrayed him three times, a question. He asks this question three times, “Peter do you love me?” Each time Peter answers, “Yes,” and Jesus responds with a request, “Feed my sheep.” Like a shepherd who cares for his flock, Peter is being asked to nourish and care for all people. Peter is being called to follow Jesus and in doing so to give his very life.

Questions for Deeper Reflection
• How does Jesus nourish you?
• How would you answer Jesus’ question, “Do you love me?”
• How is Jesus calling you to “Feed my sheep?”

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
Eucharist and Mission

The call to follow Christ carries with it a charge to go out and serve the world, giving witness to the good news of the kingdom of God. The first disciples were willing to give their lives to carry out this mission. They were nourished and strengthened by the risen Christ.

The risen Christ nourishes us as well. Catholics believe that the Eucharist strengthens and nourishes believers for the mission of Christ. The Eucharistic meal increases our love for the poor and unfortunate and it renews our faith. The Eucharistic liturgy, the Mass, nourishes us to go forth and spend our lives in service for the life of the world.

• When do you recognize the presence of the risen Christ?
• How does celebrating Eucharist nourish your faith?
• How are you being called to serve the world?

The Gospel in Life
Jesus, the Good Shepherd, calls us to go forth and feed his sheep. Determine what you can do this week to serve a need in your community.


Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition
At Home Family Guide, theme 27
Junior High, Mystery of God, chapter 11

Connecting to Faith First® Original Edition
At Home Family Guide, theme 27
Junior High, Creed and Prayer, page 341 and chapter 11
Junior High, Liturgy and Morality, page 341


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