Para la versión en español, haga clic aquí.
This second week of Advent includes several feast days that honor Mary. These feasts begin on Tuesday, December 8 with the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a Holy Day of Obligation. We honor Saint Juan Diego on Wednesday, December 9 and Our Lady of Guadalupe on Saturday, December 12. A relatively new feast honors Our Lady of Loreto on Thursday, December 10.
As we move closer to Christmas, it is natural that we think of Jesus’ mother and the final weeks of her pregnancy as we prepare to celebrate our Savior’s birth. We encourage you and the children in your care to pray the Hail Mary every day this week. Check with your parish or diocese to see if the obligation to participate in Mass for the Immaculate Conception is retained or dispensed this year due to the ongoing pandemic.
Every week in the GROW newsletter, you will find a helpful tip for teaching your Gospel Weeklies lesson, a reflection on the Sunday Gospel, and information about our online resources and seasonal activities. Here are tips for teaching the Gospel Weeklies lessons this week:
Lesson Theme: Someone powerful and good is coming.
For this lesson, remember to bring out the Advent candle from last week so you can refer to it during your opening prayer. Seeds will recognize the importance of giving gifts as a sign of love for others. Emphasize that the best we can give is the gift of joy and happiness.
Find a coloring page to accompany “Jenny Gets Ready for Christmas” here.
Lesson Theme: We grow as Jesus’ followers.
This lesson includes a focus on sin, explaining it as disobeying God and choosing to do what we know is wrong. While the children’s celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance is likely a year or more away, it is good to help them to recognize and acknowledge behaviors that may be sinful. You will be teaching them a way to pray to God for forgiveness.
Lesson Theme: John the Baptist prepares the way for Jesus.
John the Baptist tells people to prepare for the Messiah and notes that Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a helper and guide. The children will draw or write a prayer asking the Holy Spirit to help them: “Holy Spirit, help me to . . .” Offering prayer starters like this helps the children learn to pray in simple yet personal ways.
Lesson Theme: God calls us to change.
You will want to make sure to have Bibles on hand for when the young people look up the Scripture passages on the cover. This lesson includes the concept of sin, specifically the difference between mortal and venial sins.
Lesson Theme: John the Baptist preaches repentance.
This lesson suggests that you bring props for a play-drama. Don’t feel intimidated by this task. If you cannot bring props or costumes, having the students read their parts as if they were acting will make this story engaging for everyone. Make sure you have Bibles for the students and make several copies of the Merry Christmas gift letter on page 7 in case the young people would like to write more letters for this activity.
DON’T FORGET to check out our Unit 2 Overview Webinars. You can find them in English and in Spanish here.
Image credit: M.MIGLIORATO/CPP/CIRIC