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Second Sunday of Advent - Year A

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Second Sunday of Advent - Year A

December 4, 2016


Gospel: Mt 3:1-12
John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (1)!” It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: A voice of one crying out in the desert, Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths (2). John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged (3) their sins.
When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers (4)! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor (5) and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
The difficult words
(1)At hand means here and now.
(2)To make straight his paths means to make it easy for the Lord to come to you.
(3)To acknowledge means to admit or to confess.
(4)A brood of vipers is a nest of many poisonous snakes.
(5)Farmer's would harvest wheat and put it on the threshing floor, where they would separate the good grain from the chaff (the skins and other unwanted things), which they would blow away using a winnowing fan. God wants us to be good grain!
This week’s spotlight
John the Baptist
John is the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth. He is Jesus' cousin, who leaped for joy inside his mother at the Visitation. He is the last and greatest prophet, the one who announces the coming of the Messiah. He tells the people to get ready by being baptized in the Jordan River. This is why he is called “John the Baptist." Even Jesus came to him to be baptized. Eventually, John was arrested and killed by King Herod.

John the Baptist calls those who come to see him to conversion. People who convert make life changes because they have discovered the love of God and want to answer with all their heart. The baptism that John the Baptist gives is a concrete sign of this willingness and determination to convert. From that moment on, the person who is converted shows his or her love toward others through both actions and words.
Get ready, he’s coming!
Jesus once said that there is no man greater than John the Baptist. Why would he say that? Perhaps it’s because John the Baptist was sent to prepare the way for Jesus. Preparation is extremely important! What would happen if parents didn’t prepare for a new baby? What would happen if you had to take the test for a class you never attended? What would Christmas dinner be like if you didn’t go shopping, set the table, and prepare the meal? God knew that we needed to prepare our hearts for the Messiah. John the Baptist was sent to help. He called the people to repent, to convert. To convert means to turn back to God. God wants us to pray, to be sorry for sin, to forgive others, and to love one another. This is how we “prepare the way of the Lord.” This is what Advent is all about. Let’s get busy!

Discussion questions
1.What does John the Baptist do?
2.How does John the Baptist announce the coming of Jesus?
3.How does John help the people get ready for Jesus?
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. Lord, make us turn to you and be converted. Help us to get ready for your coming again into our hearts and homes this Christmas.
This week…
Get ready
What do you need to do to get ready for the birth of jesus? You may need to forgive someone for hurting you. You may want to go to confession to express sorrow for your sins. Maybe you just need to be more loving to someone at school. Pick one way to “prepare the way of the Lord" and write it down to help you remember.
Be converted!
Is there someone at school you and your friends don't like very much? Make a decision not to say anything bad about him or her. Ask your friends to do the same. This is a great way to be converted, to turn back to God and live in peace with others.
Crossword Puzzle


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



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