First Sunday of Advent, Year A, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session

Isaiah 2:1-5
Matthew 24:37-44

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Dear Jesus, thank you for promising to always be with us.
Help us to get ready for your final coming.
In the name of Christ our Lord we pray.

Opening Life Reflection

The theme for today is the Second Coming of Jesus. To begin invite the children to create welcome signs for Jesus. Have the children reflect on how they can welcome Jesus into their hearts and into their lives this Advent season. Provide paper and markers and encourage the children to create signs that welcome the coming of Jesus. Discuss:

  • How is Jesus present with us?
  • How can you get ready to welcome Jesus?
  • Why do we look forward to the Second Coming of Jesus?

Allow time for discussion. During the season of Advent we prepare to welcome Jesus into our hearts and our lives. We are reminded to stay awake and be ready for the Second Coming of Jesus.

Listening to the Word of God

In the Old Testament reading listen to how the people are drawn to the mountaintop of the Lord.

Read Isaiah 2:1-5.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

  • Who is drawn to the mountain of the Lord?
  • How is God’s peace described?
  • What are the people called to do?

In the Gospel today, listen to the call to stay awake and be ready for the coming of the Lord.
Read Matthew 24:37-44.
Allow for silence.

  • Why stay awake and ready?
  • When is the Lord coming?
  • What will happen when the Lord comes?

Scripture Background

Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the readings.

In the first reading from the Old Testament we find a glorious image of the mountaintop of the Lord. It is foretold that all nations and many peoples will be drawn to the Lord’s house. God will teach the people so that they may walk on the path of goodness and light. A God-given peace will come down on all nations and weapons will turn into tools for life. Today’s passage describes the completion of the hopes of Israel. The people of Israel and all peoples will be drawn to God, who will bring about both judgment and true peace.

In today’s Gospel we are given an urgent message to get ready for the Second Coming of Jesus. Now is the time to live as true followers of Christ because a coming as sudden and devastating as the flood in Noah’s time is expected. The Lord’s return will be like a thief in the night, coming without notice.

Today’s passage gets right to the point that we must prepare our hearts for the coming of the Lord. At the time of judgment, one will be taken and one left. We need to be ready to meet the Lord now. Stay alert! This is a strong Advent theme that continues throughout the season.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • How can we work for peace in our world today?
  • What is final judgment?
  • Why do we need to be ready for the Second Coming of Jesus?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters

The Second Coming of Christ

The season of Advent celebrates the expectant hope of believers who look forward to the coming of Jesus. During Advent the Catholic Church looks toward the end of time, when Christ will come in glory to judge the living and the dead.

We look forward to the Second Coming of Christ with great hope. The Church helps us prepare for Christ’s coming and the final judgment. We are reminded that how we behave here and now has consequences in the hereafter. During Advent we examine our hearts and spend our days preparing and praying for the coming of Jesus. While no one knows the day or the hour, the Lord will come again.

  • What is the season of Advent?
  • How does the season of Advent help us prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus?
  • How does preparing for the Second Coming of Christ help us to live as followers of Jesus?

The Gospel in Life

How can you welcome Jesus into your heart and into your life this Advent season?

Posted in: Sessions A