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Second Sunday of Advent – Year C
December 10, 2006

Intermediate Session
Baruch 5:1-9
Luke 3:1-6

Opening Prayer
Let us pray.
Come, Lord Jesus, prepare our hearts to welcome you with joy.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Opening Life Reflection
On this second Sunday of Advent we are given hope for our salvation. We prepare for the coming of Jesus with hopeful anticipation. It is time to be grateful for the goodness of God.

Begin the session by inviting the children to reflect on what that they are grateful for. Divide the group into small groups of three or four. Invite the children to share what three things they are most grateful for in their small group. Continue with a large group discussion:
• What are you most grateful for?
• Was it hard to think of three things that you are grateful for in your group discussion?
• How do you express your gratitude?
• Do you take time to thank God?
Allow time for discussion. Remind the children that we are also grateful to God for the promise of salvation.

Listening to the Word of God
In the Old Testament reading listen to God’s promise of salvation.

Read Baruch 5:1-9.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters
• What is Jerusalem told to do in this reading?
• How is salvation described?
• Why does this reading offer hope?

In the gospel today, listen to a voice crying out in the wilderness.

Read Luke 3:1-6.
Allow for silence.

• Where did John the Baptist come from?
• What is his message?
• What words from the Prophet Isaiah are used to describe John the Baptist?

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

The announcement made in the Old Testament reading today is cause for celebration. Jerusalem is told to take off the garment of sorrow and put on forever the beauty of the glory of God. We are given a sense of relief and excitement. It is time to rejoice in God’s promise of salvation.

In the Old Testament reading the people of Israel return to the holy city, Jerusalem, like royalty, robed in justice. Once in mourning and misery, Israel is now being led with joy in the light of the glory of God.

Cause for hope in the saving presence of God is also found in the gospel reading. In today’s gospel we are introduced to a most fascinating character, John the Baptist. In the wilderness John receives the word of God. And with total conviction and single-hearted determination, the prophet proclaims a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

The gospel writer quotes Isaiah 40:3-5 when describing the role of John the Baptist in preparing the way for Christ’s coming. This description of John the Baptist has us look forward to the coming of the Lord whom he announces.

The coming of Jesus is a saving event for all people. During the season of Advent we take to heart the message of John the Baptist—to make straight our path and prepare for the coming of the Lord.

Questions for Deeper Reflection
• What are some things that lead you off the path of goodness?
• How can you avoid those things in order to make straight your path this season of Advent?
• Where do you find hope this Advent season?
• What can you do to help others find hope?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
“Through the prophets you taught us to hope for salvation.”

The prophet John the Baptist announces the promise of salvation. John the Baptist directs us to the object of our longing. He points the way to Jesus, our hope. The Church considers John the Baptist to be the prophet who shows the world its savior.

During the season of Advent we watch and wait. We hope in the promise of salvation. The message of salvation, impressed upon us by the prophets, makes us who we are this advent -- a people preparing for the day, hoping in God’s promise.
• How are you preparing for the coming of Jesus this Advent?
• What helps you to keep the focus on Jesus during the season of Advent?
• How can you show your gratitude to God for the promise of salvation?

The Gospel in Life
Let the Christmas decorations you see this week fill you with gratitude and hope as you prepare for the coming of Jesus.

Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition
At Home Family Guide, theme 24
Grade 4, page 241 parish and page 351 school, and chapter 5
Grade 5, page 241 parish and page 351 school
Grade 6, page 241 parish and page 351 school

Connecting to Faith First®
At Home Family Guide, theme 24
Grade 4, page 280 and chapter 5
Grade 5, page 280
Grade 6, page 280


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