Third Sunday of Advent, Year A, Primary

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Primary Session

Matthew 11:2-11


Opening Prayer

Let us pray.
O God, you speak to us in many ways.
Thank you for sending holy people to speak in your name.
In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.


Opening Life Reflection

The theme for today is the gift of prophecy. To begin invite the children to think of all the Christmas songs that announce the coming of Jesus. Write down their responses. Ask the children which Christmas songs are their favorites. Discuss:

  • How do some Christmas songs tell us about the coming of Jesus?
  • In the Bible, who told us about the coming of Jesus?
  • Who tells us about Jesus today?

Allow time for discussion. On this Third Sunday of Advent we wait in joyful hope for the coming of Jesus. We also remember that the words of the prophets came true in the birth of Jesus.


Listening to the Word of God

In the Gospel today listen to find out about the prophet John the Baptist.

Read Matthew 11:2-11.

Allow for silence.


Scripture Discussion Starters

  • At the beginning of this Gospel, where is John the Baptist?
  • What does John want to know about Jesus?
  • How does Jesus answer John?
  • What does Jesus tell the people about John the Baptist?


Scripture Background

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

In today’s gospel we hear that the prophet John the Baptist is in prison for preaching about the coming of Jesus. While he is in prison he wants to find out if Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus tells John what kind of Messiah he is. Jesus is the Messiah who brings healing to the sick, life to the dead, and good news to the poor.

Today’s gospel passage goes on to honor John the Baptist as a great prophet. Jesus calls John a messenger sent by God with the highest mission—to prepare for the coming of Jesus, the Messiah. Like all prophets John the Baptist is a model of faithfulness. The gospel today reminds us to be faithful and tell others about God’s love.


Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • What is special about John the Baptist?
  • Why is John put in prison?
  • How does John the Baptist speak for God?

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


Doctrinal Discussion Starters

The Charism of Prophecy

Catholics consider John the Baptist to be a great prophet. He called for the people to turn away from sin and he pointed the way to Jesus, the Messiah.

After the time of John the Baptist, people continued to be called by God to speak in God’s name. In the New Testament Scriptures Paul names prophecy as a charism, or a gift of the Holy Spirit. By our baptism, all Christians are called to bring God’s message of peace and love into the world.

  • What is a prophet?
  • How can you follow the example of John the Baptist?
  • How does celebrating Christmas help to bring God’s peace and love into the world?


The Gospel in Life

Christmas draws near, how can you bring peace and joy to others?


Connecting to Faith First® Legacy Edition

At Home Family Guide, theme 24
Kindergarten, page 159
Grade 1, page 243 parish and page 353 school
Grade 2, page 243 parish and page 353 school and chapter 6
Grade 3, page 243 parish and page 353 school

Posted in: Sessions A