First Sunday of Advent, Year A, Junior High

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Junior High Session
Isaiah 2:1-5 Matthew 24:37-44

Opening Prayer

Let us pray. O God, help us to stay awake and be ready for the coming of Jesus. In the name of Christ our Lord we pray. Amen. Opening Life Reflection The theme for today is the Second Coming of Jesus. To begin, invite the young people to brainstorm what they do to get ready for a special event.  Write down their responses.  Discuss:

  • Why do we need time to prepare for a special event?
  • Why is the Second Coming of Jesus a special event?
  • How can you get ready for Jesus?

Allow time for discussion.  On this first Sunday of Advent we are called to be alert and ready for Jesus.  The focus is not on the first coming of Jesus as a baby.  Today we are reminded to watch for the Second Coming of Christ, who will come in final judgment and glory.  

Listening to the Word of God

In the Old Testament reading listen to how God will bring true peace in the days to come. Read Isaiah 2:1-5. Allow for silence.  

Scripture Discussion Starters

  • Who will come to the mountain of the Lord?
  • How will God bring peace?
  • What are the people called to do?

In the Gospel today listen to the call to be ready for the Second Coming of Jesus. Read Matthew 24:37-44. Allow for silence.

  • How is the Second Coming of Jesus compared to the days of Noah and the flood?
  • What are the people advised to do?
  • When is the Lord coming?

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 which continues throughout the season.  

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • How will God bring about true peace?
  • How will God determine who will be taken and who will be left in the final days?
  • Why do we need to stay alert 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 is coming soon.

  • Why do we celebrate the season of Advent?
  • How does looking forward to the Second Coming of Jesus give us hope?
  • How does the Church help us prepare for the Second Coming of Christ?

The Gospel in Life

This Advent how can you stay alert for the coming of Jesus?

Posted in: Sessions A