In today's Gospel, we learn about John the Baptist and his special role of preparing people for the coming of Jesus. We can play a similar role this advent, and help others prepare for the birth of Jesus.
Holy Spirit, fill my heart and illuminate my mind. Help me to hear and understand God's message today. Help me to recognise when God is trying to speak to me in my daily life. Amen
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way.
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,make straight his paths.”
John the Baptist appeared in the desert
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem
were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River
as they acknowledged their sins.
John was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist.
He fed on locusts and wild honey.
And this is what he proclaimed:
“One mightier than I is coming after me.
I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.
I have baptized you with water;
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tgHVC3LzbU (Credit to Catholic Kids Media)
Say: It can be difficult for us to know how to follow Jesus, so God sends us helpers. Our helpers are our parents, teachers, Church leaders, and the Bible. In the Bible we learn that God sent John the Baptist as a helper to prepare the way for Jesus.
Say: John the Baptist taught the people the importance of repenting for their sins. As a sign of forgiveness, those who repented were baptized by John. John also told the people to look for another who would be greater than he was. That person we know was Jesus.
Say: During Advent, we ask God to forgive our sins and look for ways that we can be better followers of Jesus. What are some things we can change in our lives to better follow Jesus? (We can be more loving, caring, sharing, helpful, hardworking, and so on.) When we do these things, we become like John the Baptist and invite others to follow Jesus. Let’s all choose one thing that we will do this week to change our lives so that we are better followers of Jesus. Allow time for the children to think about what they will do this week.
Conclude in prayer together for the strength to prepare the way for Jesus by staying faithful to the promises of our Baptisms. Place the bowl of holy water in your prayer space. Invite the children to make the sign of the cross with the holy water as they make a silent promise to God to do one thing this week to be a better follower of Jesus.
Father in heaven, we give you today, all that we think, and do, and say, and we join it with all that was done by Jesus Christ, your Son. Amen