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VEN37_11.indd 18/27/17 11:28 AMAdvent is only four weeks long, just time enough to get your heart ready for our celebration of Jesus’ birth on Christmas Day. Use this meditation page to help decide how you will do that. Color each of the letters when you have thought about that way to get ready. Color one candle flame each week.VDo a good deed. Why not? It’s easy to hold a door open for someone or help a little kid. It can make you feel really good.What Will Your Advent Be Like? Appreciate the beauty ofEValue your family. Christmas isn’t just about gifts. It’s about the givers, the people who love you most. Spend a little extra time with one member of your family.creation. Creation is the first way we knowGod loves us—the world itself, flowers, Danimals, the stars and sun. Be gratefulfor one beautiful thing each day.Eucharist is our family meal with other Catholics. Go to Mass every Sunday during Advent.NNotice God’s care for you all around you. Say to yourself, “God made me. God loves me.” Let it Tsink in during Advent.Take it easy. Give yourself some quiet time. Walk sometimes instead of riding in a car or train. Take time outdoors each day.PFLAUM GOSPEL WEEKLIES Faith Formation ProgramDecember 3, 20171st Sunday of AdventTG2-14Share ExperiencesObjectives l The children will:l Recognize Advent as a time for getting ready to celebrate Jesus’ birth at Christmas.l Connect their own experiences of home with the Old Testament images of exile and returning home.l Understand the seasons of the Liturgical calendar as a new Church year begins.Gather your children in a prayer circle around the Advent wreath. Play and sing “How Can We Be Silent?” (CD-2, #17).Gathering Prayer If you do not have an Advent wreath in your classroom, take the children to church to gather around the one there. Explain the symbolism of the wreath. It is usually made of branches, which remain green even in winter. It is round, with no beginning or end, like God. The four candles represent the four weeks leading up to Christmas. We light the pink candle on the third Sunday because the reading from Saint Paul tells us to rejoice.Pray: Loving God, you sent Jesus to live with us as our brother. We are getting ready to celebrate his birth among us at Christmas. Help us to live more like him by turning to you in prayer and by loving and caring for others.Cover Activity l What Will Your Advent Be Like? (page 1) This activity is a meditative one. Give the children quiet time for it. Play some quiet Christmas carols while they work (there are many to choose from on the Venture/ Visions CDs. The activity doesn’t ask them to write a resolution but suggests they color the letters one by one as they read the suggestion for that letter.Note: Before you read this week’s story—a play-drama called Show Us the Way Home—you may first want to complete the Our Catholic Faith feature on page 4, God Rescues Israel From Exile, to give the children some historical background.Play-Drama l Show Us the Way Home(pages 2–4) Use the map on page 5 to  nd the Persian Gulf and the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Show the children where Babylon was, where Jerusalem is, and the kind of terrain that lay between them. Assign parts and set up boxes to create a city wall. Borrow a menorah or other candelabrum to illustrate the faith of the Jewish people.Read through the play once or twice so the children will become familiar with their parts; then act out the play using the props and creative movements suggested. Consider performing this play for parents, another class, or the whole school.Discuss Think questions on page 3. Answers: 1. It is their homeland; they want descendants to know where they are from; they don’t have a temple in Babylon.Simon and Leah have made a home in Babylon; they are happy there. 2. They like their Babylonian friends, toys, and culture. They know little about their homeland and ancestors in faith; they are becoming more like Babylonian children. 3. The Jewish faith won’t survive unless the younger generations move back to Jerusalem, worship at the Temple, and learn the stories of their faith.Discover Gospel and DoctrineObjectives l The children will:l Understand why Jesus wants us to live in readiness.l Appreciate that Advent is a season of getting ready.l Learn the structure of the Church’s Liturgical calendar.Gospel Ritual Move to a special area you have set up for the Gospel reading. As you prepare the children to read this Sunday’s Gospel, play “Word of Truth and Life” (CD-1, #1).Sunday Gospel l Jesus Urges Us to Be Ready (page 4) Ask the children if they have ever promised their parents they would do a chore and then put it off until it was too late. How did their parents feel when they came back and the chore was not finished? Jesus tells a story like this in Sunday’s Gospel. Assign three children to proclaim the Gospel to the rest of the class.Discuss the Think questions on page 4. Use the questions to help the children recognize that Jesus wants us to be ready for his coming by living as he has shown ushow to live. Answers: 1. Jesus will return without warning, so we need to be ready at all time. 2. We can be ready by living our lives as Jesus did—caring for the least among us, doing the Works of Mercy, keeping God’s commandments.Connecting Gospel and Doctrine l Advent Celebrates the Incarnation (page 4) Read this summary of the mystery of the Incarnation as you gather for prayer. Ask if the children have any questions about what it means that Jesus came to be one of us.Turn to the two Think questions related to the doctrine. Answers: 1. Open-ended. 2. Through prayer, by showing our gratitude to those who help us, by offering help to those who need us; open-ended. Encourage everyone to contribute to the discussion.Teaching This Week’s Lesson

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