Finding the Right Words
Whom does the Lord ask you to welcome as Christmas approaches?
Think for a moment about a relative who works too much or a friend who wants revenge against an enemy. Maybe you know someone who feels lonely or left out or a friend who is worried about success in school.
Write a note or e-mail using one of the following scripture messages to encourage or help one of these people.
- "Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh." (Luke 6:21)
- "Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find." (Luke 11:9)
- "Come to me, all of you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)
- "I am with you always." (Matthew 28:20)
- "Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid." (John 14:27)
Producing Good FruitDraw a rectangular shape on a sheet of paper. This will serve as your sign.
On it, illustrate with symbols and slogans the good fruit you hope to produce in the remaining week of Advent. Here are a few deed ideas to start with:
- With friends, plan a gift for Mother Earth.
- Use a talent for family or friends.
- Spend time with someone who is lonely or feels neglected.
- Give more attention to prayer and liturgy.
even a pineapple, symbol of hospitality. Your good fruit is spiritual hospitality!
We Pray for PeaceRead aloud the first few lines of today's reading from the Prophet Isaiah. Ask the children to listen especially for the animals the prophet mentions. Explain that the wolf and the lamb, the leopard and the "kid" (baby goat), the young lion and the calf are opposite kinds of animals (wild and farm animals). When these two kinds of animals get along together, and stay side by side together, then we will know that peace is here! We pray for this kind of peace to come into our world.
The reproducible master shows the lion and the lamb, a picture that is found on many Christmas cards to depict peace. Invite the children to color the page. Help them to complete the prayer for peace. "Dear God, we pray for peace."
Saint John the BaptistExplain to the children: In our gospel today, we hear John the Baptist telling people to get ready for Jesus. This is what we do during Advent. We get ready for Jesus. Tell the children that Saint John the Baptist was Jesus' cousin. Ask them: Do you have cousins? If so, do they live nearby or far away? Do your cousins visit often? Do you play together when they come?
In honor of Saint John the Baptist and Jesus, invite the children to say a prayer now for all our own cousins. Say, "Let us pray that we and our cousins and friends and relatives and all people will be ready for Jesus, today and always." (You may have a moment of silence, or ask the children to say names of cousins aloud.)