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Fourth Sunday of Advent - Year A

Thứ bảy - 19/11/2016 08:35 | Đã xem: 190

Fourth Sunday of Advent - Year A

December 18, 2016

 

Gospel: Mt 1:18-24
 
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed (1) to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce (2) her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived (3) in her. She will bear (4) a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.
 
http://www.usccb.org
 
The difficult words
 
(1)Betrothed means engaged.
(2)To divorce, in this case, means break off the engagement. (Some of the marriage customs were different in the time of Jesus.)
(3)To be conceived means to begin living and growing in a mother's womb.
(4)To bear means to give birth to a child.
 
This week’s spotlight
 
Who is Joseph?
 
Joseph was a carpenter in the village of Nazareth, where Mary grew up. He belonged to the same family as the great King David. He was already engaged to Mary when God asked him to bring up Jesus as his son. He brought Mary to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born. Later, after an angel’s warning, he protected Mary and Jesus from harm by taking them to Egypt for awhile. Later he brought his family home to Nazareth.
 
Faith
 
To have faith means to believe in God and accept his Good News. It means trusting in him and knowing that he loves us. Faith is a gift from God, and like the gifts we receive  at Christmas, we have to accept them and unwrap them in order to use or enjoy them. We “unwrap" the gift of faith through prayer. In prayer; we can thank God for all his gifts, and we can praise him for his goodness. We can ask him to fill our needs or to help us in a difficult time, and we can ask his forgiveness when we have done wrong.  Faith goes hand in hand with trust. The more we trust God, the more our faith can grow.
 
Reflection
 

What a surprise!
 
Joseph was a good man who trusted in God. When he got engaged to Mary, he was happy. Then one day, he learned that his future wife was pregnant! He didn’t understand how this could be, and it looked bad for them both. He was about to break their engagement when something amazing happened: An angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him to take Mary as his wife, because her child was conceived by the power of God. He would be named Jesus, and he would save the people from their sins. Joseph, like Mary, trusted God, so he did as the angel said. It was not easy for them to do as God wanted. You may have surprises and struggles of your own. Things don’t always work out as you hope or expect. Learn from Joseph and Mary: Trust in God, and seek his will - for God is always with us!
 
Discussion questions
 
1.What does Joseph plan to do at first?
2.How does God prepare Joseph for the birth of Jesus?
3.What kind of a man is Joseph?
4.What does the angel of the Lord tell Joseph?
5.Does Joseph obey God’s message?
 
 
Praying after Communion
 
After receiving Holy Communion, you can say this prayer silently to yourself. If you have not yet received your First Communion, you can still say this prayer because of your desire to receive Jesus.
 
Father, through Jesus, in communion with the whole Church, I thank you for coming into my heart. Thank you for your Son, Jesus, the most beautiful present ever. Help us to welcome him again into our hearts and homes this Christmas.
 
 
This week…
 
In God, you trust
 
Trusting in God means putting him first in your life and trying always to do his will. Each morning and night this week, pray the Our Father, and then add: “I trust in you, God. Help me always to do your will.” You can pray it again during the day.
 
Prepare a surprise
 
Do you like surprises? Give someone a pleasant surprise this week. Do your household chores extra well, phone a relative who you haven’t talked to for awhile, or make a special treat to share with your family.
 
 
Word search
 
 

 

Source: usccb.org -  Magnifikid - sermons4kids.comrclblectionary.com –usccb.org/bible/readings-audio.cfm
 

 

 

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