December 3, 2006
Opening Life Reflection
Make an Advent calendar. Provide each child with a sheet of card stock paper, pencils, markers, and decorating materials. First, help the children create a calendar for the month of December with a blank box for each day of the month. Then, invite the children to write or draw a picture in each of the boxes that describes what they can do each day to help prepare for the coming of Jesus. It may be helpful to show them an example of a completed calendar.
• Invite the children to share an idea from one of the dates on their calendar with the large group.
Explain to the children that they can use their calendars at home to help them get ready for Christmas. During the season of Advent we get ready not only to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but we also look forward to the Second Coming of Jesus at the end of time.
Listening to the Word of God
Read Jeremiah 33:14-16.
Scripture Discussion Starters
In the gospel reading listen to find out how we can get ready for the Second Coming of Christ.
Read Luke 21:25-28, 34-36.
• What are some signs of the Second Coming of Christ?
The Old Testament reading speaks of the fulfillment of God’s promise. When a “just shoot” will spring up bring justice and righteousness to the land. In this reading from Jeremiah, Christians have understood Jesus of Nazareth to be the fulfillment of God’s promise. Jesus is the “just shoot,” a descendant of the family of King David, who was sent to bring about the kingdom of God.
The Second Coming of Christ is described in the gospel reading today in cosmic terms. There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars and on earth the roaring of waves will cause distress. Then, amidst this frightening scene, we are given hope. Although Catholics do not interpret this passage literally, we can live with the hope and confidence that we will be saved.
The gospel today offers guidance on how to prepare for the Second Coming of Christ. Be on guard. Stay mindful of what really matters in life, such as being in right relationship with God, one another and one’s self. Be alert. Stay attentive to the movement of the Spirit, and listen for what is true. Be prayerful. Stay connected to God, and grow in friendship with Jesus.
On this First Sunday of Advent we are reminded to look forward to the Second Coming of Christ with expectancy and hope. The season of Advent provides time for us to reflect on how we are to get ready for the coming of Christ.
Questions for Deeper Reflection
[If you are not going to continue with the doctrinal discussion, proceed to the Gospel in Life.]
Doctrinal Discussion Starters
During the season of Advent we look forward to the end of time when the reign of God will be fully established on earth. Catholics believe that we have a responsibility to work for justice and peace at the present time in cooperation with the grace of God in order to help bring about the kingdom of God.
• How can you work for justice and peace at home, in school and with your friends?
The Gospel in Life
Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition