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The Joy of Advent: Week 4

Insert Liturgical Connection Title Here

Lesson Overview

Learning Goals
  • Advent is a time for waiting and for preparing for the coming of Jesus Christ, not only as a baby at
    Christmas, but also at the end of time in His promised Second Coming.
  • Mary is Jesus鈥 mother and our mother. She is blessed among women.
  • Jesus is the Light of the World. During Christmas, especially, we celebrate His light shining in the darkness.

Lesson Materials

Connection to the Catechism of the Catholic Church

  • CCC 484-487
  • CCC 522-525

Vocabulary

  • Annunciation
  • Christmas

Biblical Touchstones

鈥淪he will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.鈥 - Matthew 1:21

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. - John 1:5

Lesson Plan

Teacher鈥檚 Note: Because of this year鈥檚 calendar, the Fourth Sunday of Advent falls on December 22. Therefore, this year, the fourth week of Advent is only three days. It is likely that you and your students will already be on Christmas vacation. The lesson that we present here for this fourth week of Advent is intended for you to send home with students to complete with their parents over Christmas vacation.

Warm-Up

Ask your students to sing the Christmas carol 鈥淛oy to the World鈥 with their families or read the lyrics on Handout A: Joy to the World as a class. Encourage them to sing the carol as a prayer, listening carefully to the words of the song and thinking about why we celebrate the joy of Christmas.

Activity

A. Explain to your students that even though the fourth week of Advent is only three days this year, very soon we will celebrate the birth of Jesus! This begins a new season in the life of the Church: Christmas. The Christmas season lasts until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. During this period of more than two weeks, we celebrate the coming of the Light of the World, the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We joyfully reflect on the Good News of Jesus Christ: that our salvation has come.

B. Send home with your students the Handout B: Joy of the Gospel worksheets. Have them complete the following with their families:

C. Gospel Reading: Luke 1:26-38: Read with their families and answer and discuss the focus questions together.

  • Impossible Things: Read about God鈥檚 people throughout Salvation History and discuss the reflection questions together.
  • Light of the World: Read the Gospel passage, then answer the focus questions.聽
  • 聽Adoration of the Shepherds: Reflect on the painting together using the conversation questions provided.
  • Adoration of the Shepherds Coloring Page: Encourage your students to display the coloring page at home during the Christmas season as a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas.

E. Finally, encourage and challenge your students to think of different ways in which they can share the joy of Christ with others during their Christmas vacation. Specifically challenge them to imitate Christ by loving and serving others in concrete ways. Perhaps they can help serve at a soup kitchen with their families or visit a sick family member or friend. Perhaps they can spend extra time in prayer for someone who is need of prayer. Encourage them to be creative and think of ways to share the joy of Christmas with others that they might not ordinarily do.

Answer Key

Fourth Week of Advent

  1. It says he was a righteous man.聽
  2. An angel of the Lord.
  3. To not be afraid to take Mary into his home, (to marry her) and to name their son 鈥淛esus.鈥澛
  4. 鈥淕od is with us.鈥 Accept reasoned answers. Because Jesus is both God and man.

Christmas Day

  1. The Word.
  2. All things.
  3. Life
  4. Accept reasoned answers, which may include that He was in the beginning with God, all things were made through Him, He is the light of the world, He shines in the darkness, He was no accepted by His people, He revealed the Father鈥檚 glory, He revealed truth, and so forth.

Adoration of the Shepherds

  1. Accept reasoned answers.
  2. Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, and Shepherds.
  3. Jesus Himself is the only source of light in the painting. The artist was depicting the Light of the World shining in the darkness, and the glory of God (as John speaks of in His Gospel).
  4. Mary is looking directly at Jesus, and she is pulling back His blanket to reveal Him to the shepherds. Mary鈥檚 role in our faith is always to reveal her Son, Jesus, to us and direct us to Him.
  5. Accept reasoned answers.

Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph:

  1. Because Herod wanted to find Jesus and kill Him.
  2. Until Herod died.
  3. To the land of Israel.
  4. Because it fulfills the prophecy about Jesus which said, 鈥淗e shall be called a Nazorean.鈥澛
  5. Accept reasoned answers.

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