Use the following summaries and questions to help explain this month’s Gospels to your kids.
Dec. 1 — First Sunday of Advent
Matthew 24:37-44: In today’s Gospel — the beginning of our new liturgical year, which is always the first Sunday Advent — Jesus calls us to be awake and to be prepared for him.
- In these coming four weeks before Christmas, how will you and your family make the best use of your time — as friends of Jesus and brothers and sisters to all in God’s family?
- If Jesus came to your home today (he is there, isn’t he?), what would you do?
- What are some ways Jesus comes to you, to your family each day?
- How can you “stay awake” to the real meaning of Advent/Christmas this year?
- God is everywhere, often in unexpected places. Where/when did you meet God when you weren’t expecting to last week? Are there some ways you can you be more awake to God’s surprises this week?
Dec. 8 — Second Sunday of Advent
Matthew 3:1-12: In today’s Gospel, John the Baptist is courageous; he knows his mission is to call the people to get ready for the Messiah, to repent, which means to turn away from sin and to change their lives.
- Why do you think John was able to be so courageous?
- Have you ever had to be courageous? Have you ever been courageous about your faith, about believing in God, about doing the right thing?
- We show that we have changed our lives through the good, kind things we do. What did you do last week that was selfless? What will you do this week that is something totally for someone else?
- During the remaining weeks of Advent, what kinds of good fruit do you want to produce?
- How can God’s Word change our lives this Advent? What needs changing?
Dec. 15 — Third Sunday of Advent
Matthew 11:2-11: When John the Baptist sends a message asking who Jesus is, Jesus replies by telling about his good works. Because John has opened people’s hearts to the Savior’s coming, Jesus says that John is the greatest of the prophets.
- How would you answer the question, “Who is Jesus?” How do you get to know Jesus?
- One of Jesus’ works was healing people. What could you do to offer healing to people in your world who are hurting? What about to people who might be far away who are hurting?
- John the Baptist, a messenger, paved the way for Jesus. Who has been a messenger of God’s messages for you? Write a thank you note to him/her.
Dec. 22 — Fourth Sunday of Advent
Matthew 1:18-24: We know very little about St. Joseph, but in today’s Gospel we see him clearly as a man who dearly loves Mary. When an angel comes to him in a dream, he dares to believe. Joseph is told to give their child a special name, Jesus, which means, “Yahweh saves.”
- Names are extremely important; they tell us who we are. Part of our name is Christian. What do you think people think of when they know we are Christian?
- Joseph was hospitable; he welcomed Mary to his home. What are some ways we can be hospitable and welcoming to others?
- Emmanuel means “God is with us.” How do our lives show others that God is with us?
- Joseph’s dream changed his life. What do you think God’s dreams are for the world? How could you make some of God’s dreams come true?
- Joseph made a choice that changed the world. What kinds of choices have you made that help others?
Dec. 25 — The Nativity of the Lord
John 1:1-5,9-14: Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah. In today’s Gospel, we learn that Jesus is the “Word of God,” because Jesus shows us who God is for us.
- Jesus showed us many things about who God is. What would be your favorite way to describe Jesus, knowing that it also describes God?
- Can you be a Word of God to the people you meet this week, and this coming year?
- What Word of God does our world need most today?
- How will you thank Jesus for coming into our world and becoming one of us?
- When do you most know that Jesus is with you?
Dec. 29 — The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
Matthew 2:13-15,19-23: An angel suddenly warned Joseph to move his family to Egypt. Without complaining, he listened and obeyed. When danger was over, God guided the family to their permanent home in Nazareth.
- Why do you think Joseph listened and obeyed without complaining or questioning?
- Is it hard or easy for you to obey? At times when it is easier, what makes it easy?
- Tell your other family members the best three things you see in them.
- How is your family like the Holy Family?
- What makes your house a home?
- If your family had to move quickly (as the Holy Family did), what would you want to take with you? Why would you take those things?
- Write a prayer of thanksgiving for your family. Post it on your refrigerator so you can pray it often.
- With the whole Church we are a family, because of our baptism. Together, how can we change the world?