Second Sunday of Advent, Year A, Intermediate

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Intermediate Session

Isaiah 11:1-10
Matthew 3:1-12


Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
Come Lord Jesus, fill our hearts with your love.
Help us to spread your peace and justice in the world.
In the name of Christ our Lord we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

On this second Sunday of Advent the theme is justice and peace as a sign of Jesus’ coming into the world. To begin invite the young people to create Christmas ornaments with symbols for peace and justice. Provide round balls made of styrofoam, swatches of material, scissors, pins, ribbons and beads. Explain that the material and beads can be used to cover the ball and the pins can be used to keep it together. The ribbon can be pinned in a loop on top of the ball for hanging on a tree. Discuss:

  • What symbols represent justice and peace?
  • What comes to mind when you think of justice and peace?
  • Why is justice and peace a sign of Jesus’ coming into the world?

Allow time for discussion. Justice and peace are signs of God’s kingdom. The coming of Jesus brought about the kingdom of God on earth.



Listening to the Word of God

A kingdom of peace and justice is promised in the Old Testament reading today. Listen to how it is described.

Read Isaiah 11:1-10.

Allow for silence.


Scripture Discussion Starters

  • Who is God sending into the world?
  • What gifts of the spirit are mentioned?
  • How is God’s kingdom of peace and justice described?

In today’s Gospel listen to how John the Baptist prepares for the coming of Jesus.

Read Matthew 3:1-12.

Allow for silence.

  • How does John the Baptist prepare for the coming of Jesus?
  • How is John the Baptist described?
  • Why does John baptize the people who come to him?
  • What does John tell the people?


Scripture Background

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

In today’s Old Testament reading the prophet Isaiah gives us a beautiful vision of a future filled with justice and peace. The passage begins with the promise of a king with virtues that Christians later identify as “gifts of the Holy Spirit.” Justice and freedom for the poor mark the reign of the king and all of creation lives together in peace and harmony.

Christians have interpreted the promise of a king in the line of David--found in today’s Old Testament passage--to refer to the coming of Jesus Christ. We regard Jesus as the king sent to fulfill God’s promise to send a Messiah.

In today’s gospel we find a bold and courageous character named John the Baptist. He is determined to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Out of the wilderness John the Baptist appears wearing clothing of camel’s hair. His food is locusts and wild honey. His heart is pure and his preaching changes the hearts of many people.

John announces the coming of a new age when people are called to change their hearts and repent from sin. It is time to prepare for the coming of our savior, Jesus Christ. Today’s passage focuses on John’s preaching which calls for a change of heart and true conversion in order to welcome Jesus and turn back to God. John’s mission and message center on Jesus, the coming Messiah and the moral conversion necessary to prepare for his kingdom of justice and peace.


Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • What are the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
  • What is conversion?
  • How does the season of Advent help us change our hearts and turn back to God?

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


Doctrinal Discussion Starters

Justice and Peace as a Sign of the Messianic Era

God is a God of promises. God promised never to abandon us. Catholics believe that throughout history God has worked to bring about our salvation. Starting with God’s covenant with Abraham, and then throughout the time of Moses and the prophets, God’s promise to send a savior is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is the Savior who entered our humanity and our history and brought about the kingdom of God. Justice and peace are the signs of God’s kingdom. Through his ministry, Jesus planted the seeds of God’s reign. The faithful continue the mission of Jesus and help God’s kingdom to blossom on earth.

  • Why did Jesus come into the world?
  • What is your understanding of the kingdom of God?
  • How can you help God’s kingdom to blossom on earth?


The Gospel in Life

This week, what can you change in your life in order to turn back to God?


Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition

At Home Family Guide, theme 24
Grade 4, page241 parish and page 351 school
Grade 5, page241 parish and page 351 school
Grade 6, page241 parish and page 351 school

Posted in: Sessions A