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Third Sunday of Advent – Year C
December 17, 2006

Primary Session
Luke 3:10-18

Opening Prayer
Let us pray.
Come, Lord Jesus, help us to look forward to your birth with joy and thanksgiving.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.
Amen.

Opening Life Reflection
On this third Sunday of Advent we rejoice and sing praises to God. Begin the session by inviting the children to sing the song, “If You Are Happy and You Know It.”
If you are happy and you know it, clap your hands.
If you are happy and you know it, clap your hands.
If you are happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it.
If you are happy and you know it, clap your hands.

Discuss:
• What makes you happy?
• Name the Christmas preparations that fill you with joy.

Today we praise God and sing for joy. We believe that God is near and God loves us. We can hardly wait to celebrate the saving love of God this Christmas.

Listening to the Word of God
In the gospel reading today, John the Baptist tells us that someone very powerful is coming. Listen to find out who it is.

Read Luke 3:10-18.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters
• How does John the Baptist answer the crowd when they ask him what they should do?
• How does John baptize the people?
• Who does John the Baptist say is coming?
• How will the one who is coming baptize the people?

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

In the gospel reading today, the crowds listen to the preaching of John the Baptist. They come toward him and ask, “What are we to do?” John the Baptist tells the people that they should look at how they live their lives to see if they are being good and kind.

John the Baptist baptizes with water. He helps to cleanse the people of their sins. John the Baptist wants them to be ready for the coming of Jesus. He tells the crowd the good news that, “One who is more powerful than I is coming.” And he makes it clear that the people should repent in order to prepare for the coming of the Messiah.

The third Sunday of Advent is traditionally known as “Gaudete Sunday.” Gaudete is a Latin word meaning rejoice. On this Sunday we sing for joy and rejoice in the saving presence of God.

Questions for Deeper Reflection
• How do you show kindness toward others?
• Do you spread the joy of the Advent season with those around you?
• Who helps to bring you joy?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
Moral conversion prepares for the coming of Christ.

God created people good. We also are created with freedom and the inner voice of conscience. Our inner voice helps to lead us to God. People want to be close to God. That desire for happiness can lead people to make choices that are good and true.

Catholics believe that moral conversion is possible for all and needed by all. Moral conversion is a process of becoming the good people that God created us to be. Sometimes we need to make changes in our attitudes and behaviors in order to reflect the goodness of God. These changes are signs of moral conversion. Some other signs are when we do such things as ask for forgiveness, admit our faults, grow in our concern for the poor, and work for justice.

Growing closer to God is a life-long process of conversion. When we admit our mistakes and turn back to God we have much reason to rejoice, because God welcomes us and rejoices over our return.
• What helps you to make good choices?
• What helps you to grow closer to God?
• Do you know that God rejoices over you?

The Gospel in Life
Visit and spread some joy to someone who is alone this Advent season.

Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition
At Home Family Guide, theme 24
Kindergarten, page 159
Grade 1, page 243 parish and page 353 school
Grade 2, page 243 parish and page 353 school
Grade 3, page 243 parish and page 353 school

Connecting to Faith First®
At Home Family Guide, theme 24
Kindergarten, page 159
Grade 1, page 230
Grade 2, page 282
Grade 3, page 282


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