This Week's Liturgy
November 30th, 2014 (see other dates)
First Sunday of Advent
Discussion Questions for Reading 1Why do the Israelites feel far away from God? Sometimes we don't pay attention to God because of unimportant things that we make important. Name some of these distractions which can absorb us during Advent. What can you do to change this?
Isaiah uses the image of potter and clay to describe our relationship with God. How does God shape us? How are our joys and sorrows and our response to them a part of this shaping?
Reading 1 Isaiah 63:16-17, 19; 64:2-7
Reading 1 ReflectionIn this reading the author describes the yearning of the people of Israel for God to come once more into their lives. God seems to have turned away from them, and they feel lost. Sometimes, because of difficulties and troubles in our lives, we can feel as if God is far away and we are alone. In times like these we can pray with the psalmist: "Lord, make us turn to you, let us see your face and we shall be saved." Advent is a time of expectation. During Advent we look forward to the time when Jesus Christ will come in glory at the end of the world. We also look back to the time when the world awaited the birth of Jesus. But we also await and work for the fullness of God's kingdom now in our lives and in our world. We ask God to make us faithful to all the things Jesus asked us to do.
Discussion Questions for Reading 2Why is Saint Paul so happy about the Christians living in Corinth?
In what ways can we can be faithful to Jesus' teaching and lead good lives? How do we wait for Jesus Christ who comes every day of our lives and at the last day, which the early Christians called "the day of the Lord?"
Reading 2 1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Reading 2 ReflectionIn this reading Saint Paul gives thanks for the gifts of God coming through Christ. The grace of God will help us to lead good lives as we prepare for the fullness of God's Kingdom. We are united by Jesus Christ in a common bond of fellowship with one another. Let us each day ask for God's grace to remain faithful to the teachings of Jesus and full of hope in Jesus’ promises.
Discussion Questions for GospelWhy is Jesus asking us to be watchful? Why might we sometimes miss the coming of Jesus? Jesus has given each of us our work to do in this world. What is your work for him now? What kind of work do you hope to do for him in the future? Identify three situations in today's world that challenge you to live the Gospel. How can we be an Advent people, awake to meet those challenges and attentive to all the ways Jesus comes into our lives. Pray this prayer: "Come, Lord, Jesus."
Gospel Mark 13:33-37
Gospel ReflectionIn this reading, Jesus warns us of the need to be awake and watchful for his coming at the end of time and each day of our lives. He compares himself to the master of the house who travels far away. The master places his servants in charge of the estate, each with his or her own work. They are put on alert: "May the master not come suddenly and find you sleeping." Be on guard. Stay awake!
Advent should be a time of watchfulness for us. We must never be asleep to the daily challenge of Jesus in our lives.
Proclaiming Faith Activities for Primary Grades
Proclaiming Faith Activities
Turning Back to GodIsaiah the prophet tells us that sometimes we wander from God's way. Reflect quietly on the things that might lead you to "detour" from your path to God. Draw a path with some rays at its end to symbolize God as the end of our journey. You could show how we detour from this path by putting traffic signs like arrows off the road, or stop signs, or detours. Print what these signs mean to you. Then write a modern-day psalm in your own words, or finish the one begun here. You may wish to use this psalm before or after meals during Advent. Lord, when I feel alone and in the dark, and might wander from your path, you …
Wake UpDraw the face of a clock. Make it an alarm clock by putting an ON-Off button on top.
Sometimes we miss Jesus' coming because we are distracted by worries or wants.
We are awake to Jesus coming when we think of him and lift our hearts in prayer.
Make two columns labeled "I’m OFF" and "I’m ON." In the OFF column, list at least three worries or wants that might keep us from being awake to Jesus. In the ON column, list some ways you can pray or work for Jesus. Pray,"wake me up, Lord."
The Work of Your HandsDraw or trace your two hands. Read the last verse of today's first reading and write or print it below the two hands you have drawn.
Write in some things a potter does to shape clay into what he or she is making.
Write what it must be like to be the clay, becoming what the potter wants.
For Bibles and other scripture resources, please see the Sadlier Religion Catalog.
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