December 3, 2006
Junior High Session
Opening Life Reflection
Begin today’s session by inviting the young people to reflect on how they get ready for things that they look forward to. Discuss:
Connect these experiences with how we prepare for the coming of the Lord by explaining the following:
To prepare for the coming of Jesus we may not clean our rooms but it is a good idea to cleanse our inner selves. We create space for Jesus in our heart by getting rid of the clutter that makes us gets in the way of our spiritual selves. Just as we study in order to graduate from school, we learn about Jesus in order to be ready for his coming. Discuss:
We look forward to the coming of Jesus at the end of time with hopeful anticipation. The Advent season reminds us to be alert and ready.
Listening to the Word of God
Read Jeremiah 33:14-16.
Scripture Discussion Starters
In the gospel reading the Second Coming of Christ is described. Listen to find out what we need to do.
Read Luke 21:25-28, 34-36.
• How is the Second Coming of Christ described?
The Old Testament reading speaks of the fulfillment of God’s promise. When a “just shoot” will spring up for David and 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. The reading tells us to raise our heads when these signs take place. Although Catholics do not understand this reading literally, as believers we can live with confidence and hope 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.
• Where do you see signs that the kingdom of God is not yet fully established on earth?
The Gospel in Life
Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition