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When I think of the readings for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time I think of opening a window to let in God and the force of love being impossible to confine, and so it is sent back out  into the world with amazing consequences. It makes a great RCIA session to discuss the consequences of God’s love for us and our love of God.

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The reading from Exodus [22:20-26] makes it clear to the inquirer and catechumen just how radical is the catholic command to love one’s neighbour. In today’s world it is easy to invite lived examples. By discussing this and inviting those going through the process to share their stories, there is an opportunity to explore how they treat others and how they have been treated: the immigrant, the stranger, the widow, the divorced.

Look at attitudes in their family, their workplace and with their friends. What were their attitudes five years ago to the stranger, to the poor, to the social outcast?  Has it changed, and how has it affected their lives? Do they see a need to change? Everyone has prejudices: have they identified theirs.

Perhaps invite one of your new catholics to join the session in order to share their experience and how being a practising catholic has  helped them grow in their relationship to others. This is a good way of involving the new catholics who are going through the extended mystagogy period [RCIA 236; 240].


The reading from Paul’s  first letter to the Thessalonians [1:5c-10]  can invite questions for discussion about the example individuals offer for what it means to be a catholic. This can also give the springboard to extend the discussion into the lives of saints for the following week.

Or you could look at some of the many quotes from Pope Francis’s  Evangelii Gaudium on the joy of the gospel.

The reading from Matthew [22:34-40] invites a discussion and sharing of stories on what it means to be loved by God and others. For it is from experiencing the joy of being loved and loving one’s own family, that love is returned to God and extended through loving one’s neighbour.

Following on from the close of the extraordinary synod on the pastoral challenges to the family and having regard to the particular situations of your inquirers/catechumens you could invite some of the parish to join your session and share their testimony of what it means to be a catholic wife/husband, grandparent, teenager or single parent and to follow the commandment  to   love  the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your min. and  to love your neighbour as yourself.