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First Sunday of Advent – Year C
December 3, 2006

Junior High Session
Jeremiah 33:14-16
Luke 21:25-28, 34-36

Opening Prayer
Let us pray.
Come, Lord Jesus, make room in our hearts for you.
Help us to be alert and ready for your coming.
In the name of Jesus our Lord we pray. Amen.

Opening Life Reflection
The season of Advent offers time to reflect on our readiness to celebrate the coming of the Lord. We not only prepare to celebrate the historical coming of the Lord, the infant, baby Jesus, but we also prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus. The coming of the Lord at the end of time is the theme of our session today on the first Sunday of Advent.

Begin today’s session by inviting the young people to reflect on how they get ready for things that they look forward to. Discuss:
• How do you get ready for a visit from a relative or friend whom you have not seen for a while? (Suggest that we may clean our rooms, and if they are planning to stay with us, we create space for them.)
• How do you get ready to go out with friends on the weekend? (Getting ready to go out with friends usually includes getting cleaned up and dressed.)
• How do you get ready to graduate from school? (Graduating from school takes preparation now, such as studying and attending classes.)

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:
• Reflect on those places within yourself where you need cleansing. How can you go about asking for forgiveness and starting new?
• How can you make room for Jesus this Advent season by getting rid of some of the clutter in your life?
• What can you do to learn more about Jesus and grow in friendship with him?

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
The Old Testament reading today speaks of the fulfillment of God’s promise. Listen to what this first reading tells us about righteousness being restored.

Read Jeremiah 33:14-16.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters
• How does this reading offer hope in God’s promise?
• What will God cause to spring up from David? What does that mean?
• How will righteousness be restored?

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.
Allow for silence.

• How is the Second Coming of Christ described?
• What will take place at the end of time?
• What must we do to get ready?

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

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
• How does this reading give you hope?
• What can you do to be on guard?
• How can you be alert?
• How can you be prayerful?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
“He will come again in glory.”

Our doctrinal focus for today the First Sunday of Advent comes from our Profession of Faith (Nicene Creed) which states that Christ will come again in glory. The kingdom of God that Jesus established on earth is here with us but it is not here completely. This is made evident wherever there is evil and suffering in the world. We look forward to the end of time, when Christ will come again in glory to put an end to all evil and suffering and bring the fullness of the kingdom of God on earth. Catholics reject any attempts to predict the Second Coming of Christ or the end of the world, as we know it.

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?
• Where do you see signs that the kingdom of God is present on earth?
• How do you work for justice and peace in the world?

The Gospel in Life
Start a journal at home for the four weeks of Advent. Each day write a prayer or jot down a few words about how you are preparing for the coming of Jesus.

Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition
At Home Family Guide, theme 24

Connecting to Faith First®
At Home Family Guide, theme 24
Junior High, Creed and Prayer, page 309
Junior High, Liturgy and Morality, page 309


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