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Fourth Sunday of Advent – Year C
December 24, 2006

Primary Session
Luke 1:39-45

Opening Prayer
Let us pray the Hail Mary.
Hail Mary
full of grace, the Lord is with you.
blessed are you among women
and blessed is the fruit of your
womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother
of God, pray for us sinners now
and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

Opening Life Reflection
Begin the session today by making Christmas cards. Provide colored paper, pencils, markers glue and glitter. Explain that on the fourth Sunday of Advent we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Encourage the children to design cards that reflect what we have been preparing for during the season of Advent, the coming of Jesus. Invite them to make cards for the special people in their lives. When the children have completed their cards, allow time for sharing. Discuss:
• Share your Christmas card with the group and explain why you decorated it the way you did.
• Will you be visiting or visited by any family members who live far away this Christmas?
• Are you ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus this Christmas?

Listening to the Word of God
In the gospel reading today Mary takes a journey. Listen to find out who she visits.

Read Luke 1:39-45.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters
• Who does Mary Visit?
• Why are the two women so happy to see each other?
• What happens to Elizabeth when Mary greets her?
• What does Elizabeth call Mary?
• How does Elizabeth know that Mary is the Mother of the Lord?

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

In the gospel reading today, Mary travels to visit Elizabeth. Mary is pregnant with Jesus, and Elizabeth is also with child. We can imagine the excitement when Mary greets Elizabeth. The baby in her womb leaps for joy when Elizabeth hears Mary’s greeting. Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit and she speaks a profound truth calling Mary “blessed” and the “Mother of the Lord.”

On this fourth Sunday of Advent, the gospel announces that Jesus is coming, and we are to be ready.

Questions for Deeper Reflection
• How do you react when a friend or family member who lives far away comes to visit you?
• What are some things that you have done to get ready to celebrate Jesus’ birth?
• How can you spread the joy of Christmas to those around you?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters
The coming of Christ in the flesh

During the season of Advent we focus on the coming of Christ. The four Sundays of Advent move from looking forward to the Second Coming of Christ at the end of time, to the coming of Christ announced by John the Baptist. And on this fourth Sunday of Advent, we focus on the coming of Christ in human flesh. We celebrate the birth of a Savior foretold by the prophets, Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace.

Jesus is both human and divine. The humanity of Jesus helps us to understand our own humanness. The divinity of Jesus reveals that God and Jesus are one.

• As you get ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus, describe some of the Christmas decorations that you have seen lately?
• What decorations help to announce the birth of Jesus? (Suggest that the many lights we see can remind us that Jesus is the light of the world. And evergreens can be a sign of the everlasting love of God. The nativity scene can remind us that Jesus can be born each day in our hearts.)

The Gospel in Life
Ask a family member to tell how he/she prepared for Christmas when he/she was a child.

Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition
At Home Family Guide, theme 24
Kindergarten, page 159
Grade 1, page 245 parish and page 355 school
Grade 2, page 245 parish and page 355 school
Grade 3, page 245 parish and page 355 school

Connecting to Faith First®
At Home Family Guide, theme 24
Kindergarten, page 159
Grade 1, page 232
Grade 2, page 284
Grade 3, page 284


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