Second Sunday of Advent, Year C, Junior High

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Junior High Session

Baruch 5:1-9
Luke 3:1-6

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Come, Lord Jesus, make straight our path
as we wait for your coming, with hopeful anticipation.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Opening Life Reflection

On this second Sunday of Advent, anticipation builds as we wait for the coming of Christ. The focus of our session today is hope for salvation.

To help the young people explore the issue of trust and guidance, begin with a trust walk activity. Divide the large group into groups of two and provide one blind fold for each twosome. Create a path for the young people to travel down. Explain that each person will have a turn guiding his or her partner down the straight path. After the trust walk discuss:

  • What was it like for you to lead another person?
  • What was it like to be led by another person?
  • Did you find it difficult to trust?
  • Where do you need guidance most in your life right now?
  • Are you able to trust in God?

Allow time for discussion. We can have confidence in God’s promise of salvation. The saving presence of God is among us. It is up to us to stay on the path that leads to life.

Listening to the Word of God

In the Old Testament reading the glory of God is revealed. Listen to God’s promise of salvation.
Read Baruch 5:1-9.
Allow for silence.

Scripture Discussion Starters

  • To whom will God show the splendor of salvation?
  • How is the glory of God described?
  • What is the overall tone of the reading?

In the gospel today, listen to John the Baptist proclaim a baptism of repentance.

Read Luke 3:1-6.
Allow for silence.

  • Where did John the Baptist come from?
  • What does he proclaim?
  • What passage from Isaiah is used to describe John the Baptist?

Scripture Background

Provide 2-3 minutes of background information on the readings using the Catechist Background section.

The announcement made in the Old Testament reading today is cause for celebration. Jerusalem is told to take off the garment of sorrow and put on forever the beauty of the glory of God. We are given a sense of relief and excitement. It is time to rejoice in God’s promise of salvation.

In the Old Testament reading the people of Israel return to the holy city, Jerusalem, like royalty, robed in justice. Once in mourning and misery, Israel is now being led with joy in the light of the glory of God.

Cause for hope in the saving presence of God is also found in the gospel reading. In today’s gospel we are introduced to a most fascinating character, John the Baptist. In the wilderness John receives the word of God. And with total conviction and single-hearted determination, the prophet proclaims a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

The gospel writer quotes Isaiah 40:3-5 when describing the role of John the Baptist in preparing the way for Christ’s coming. This description of John the Baptist has us look forward to the coming of the Lord whom he announces.

The coming of Jesus is a saving event for all people. During the season of Advent we take to heart the message of John the Baptist—to make straight our path and prepare for the coming of the Lord.

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • How can you make straight your path this Advent season?
  • What can you do to help lead others to Christ?
  • Who can you turn to for guidance?

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

Doctrinal Discussion Starters

“Through the prophets you taught us to hope for salvation.”

The prophet John the Baptist announces the promise of salvation. John the Baptist directs us to the object of our longing. He points the way to Jesus, our hope. The Church considers John the Baptist to be the prophet who shows the world its savior.

During the season of Advent we watch and wait. We hope in the promise of salvation. The message of salvation, impressed upon us by the prophets, makes us who we are this Advent -- a people preparing for the day, hoping in God’s promise.

  • What can you do to prepare for the coming of Christ this Advent?
  • Who or what helps to point the way to Jesus for you?

The Gospel in Life

As we go through our daily lives we need reminders of who we are as people of God. John the Baptist reminds us to prepare the way for Jesus. Find a symbol from nature, a rock, a leaf, etc. and keep it during the season of Advent as a reminder to prepare for the coming of the Lord.

Posted in: Sessions C