“Prepare the Way of The Lord” is an urgent call not unfamiliar to us. But how do we do that? What exactly is “the Way”? Is this something we do on our own?
We look into this familiar yet mysterious calling we all receive from John the Baptist in this week’s Mass readings, and we recognize the call in the first reading from Baruch, Psalm 126, and Paul’s letter to the Philippians – so it must be important!
And it is most appropriate to look into this as Advent gears up. The Lord is coming, and amidst the hustle and bustle of getting ready for Christmas, this is the time for a gut-check to learn how to prepare the way of The Lord all year, and to kickstart that renewed effort now.
There’s a fun activity the kids can help setup, and some discussion questions perfect for donuts after Mass or Sunday dinner as you plan your holiday season!
Catechesis At Home – Second Sunday of Advent – Year C
Prepare The Way Of The Lord
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Prepare The Way of the Lord
REFLECTION – The Way of the Lord
This week we hear about the Lord doing some pretty awesome things. Filling in valleys, leveling mountains, straightening paths, and in general saving us from hardship. The first reading from the Prophet Baruch, mentions that God has done these things – this is written after the Babylonian exile and the nation of Israel is returning to their Promised Land. The words that Baruch uses is the same language Isaiah used in foretelling of the salvation of the Chosen People; the same words that John the Baptist uses to proclaim the imminent coming of the Messiah:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.” (Luke 3:4)
Though we complicate our lives through our own sins and inconsistent pursuit of virtue, The Lord makes it easier for us to face the trials and challenges of this life. His love, mercy, beauty, truth, and goodness are constant. He is constant. When we search for any of those things, we will always be able to find it in God. And He will point us to others who are also searching for His ways.
When Jesus’ followers began preaching after Jesus’ Resurrection and Ascension, it was known simply as The Way (Acts 9:2). This is the Way of the Lord – love God above all with your whole heart, mind, body, and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself; forgiveness and repentance – both for yourself and others.
Jesus preaches a radical way of living – the Lord’s Way of living – for others, not for oneself. We are all called to this radical Way – The Way of the Lord. (John 14:6)
DISCUSSION – Prepare the Way of The Lord
Discuss the following questions with your family and friends:
What have we done so far to prepare for Christmas?
Have we shopped for presents?
Have we hung lights on our house?
Put up the tree?
Sung Christmas carols?
Picked an angel off the charity “angel tree” at church?
Given money or items to St. Vincent de Paul or Holy Owned and Operated or our parish for coats, blankets, food or other necessities for the poor?
Blessed and lit our Advent Wreath?
Gone to Confession?
Gone to Mass?
What, of all of these, do we each feel God calling us to do to prepare the way of The Lord in our hearts and home?
What do each of us and our family do to prepare for the celebration of the Incarnation of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? And how do we make the promises of the season of Advent (Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love) last in our faith life?
The answers will help us see how we can better prepare the Way of The Lord in our hearts and lives.
ACTIVITY – Make Way for the Way of The Lord!
This activity has two parts – one physical and one reflecting upon the physical.
First, the physical part:
Make an obstacle course either inside or outside. Have a goal for the participants to reach with a treat (whatever you choose – fruit, candy, prayer cards, ribbons, etc.). Make the obstacles things they have to climb over, crawl under or through, dig, toss aside, and the like. (Not simply walking around objects.) This is not the way of The Lord, so make them work for it! You can either have participants go one at a time or all at the same time, however it works for your set-up.
Once they’ve done the course. Make the way of The Lord by clearing the path and allowing them to go again, receiving a prize as before. After the ease of the second round, sit down and discuss the difference. Wasn’t it nice for the path to be made easy for them to get to the prize?
Now the reflection:
What are some obstacles we have each day to follow Jesus to get to the prize of heaven? Give examples: temptations to gossip, lie, be inconsiderate, etc. Do we ever get tired of fighting those? Do we ever fall into sin? (Of course, we all do!) How can we get a clear path? Who makes it clear for us, or helps us clear it? (Jesus! Through parents, teachers, good friends, pastors, deacons, youth ministers, catechists, parents of friends, etc.) Confession helps us to get back and stay on the straight path. The Eucharist helps us to get back and stay on the straight path. A relationship with Jesus through daily prayer will help us recognize when we stray and how to overcome an obstacle. Regular check-ins with parents or spiritual directors help, too!
Make a commitment for the rest of Advent to daily pray together as a family (or with friends) – inviting Jesus to make the Way for you as you make way for Him in your heart and life.
LEARN MORE – Other Prepare The Way of the Lord resources from Holy Owned and Operated:
Links open in a new tab or window according to your settings so that you can compare and continue in this lesson’s theme.
Page: Advent Resources
Page: Prayer Basics
Page: Mary Resources
Podcast: Family Prayer: What and How – Episode 8
Podcast: Family Prayer: Why – Episode 9
Podcast: Hope – Episode 1
Podcast: Our Saints – Episode 18
TWMWU: Second Week of Advent – Prepare!
TWMWU: Are You Prepared?
TWMWU: Fourth Week of Advent – Promises Fulfilled!
TWMWU: Filled With The Holy Spirit
TWMWU: Jesus Heals The Blind Man
Article: We Are Here to Help
How do you (or your family) Prepare the Way of The Lord?
by Beth & Kristofer Cowles
Other Help on HOO
More fun and laughs!
The Mass dismissal is perhaps the most important part of the Mass after the source and summit, the Eucharist.
It calls us to action, drives us to purpose, and requires of us dedication.
Are we up to that task?
Beth and Kristofer reveal their favorite dismissal – and, more entertaining, their least favorite. As they muddle along as Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, they invite you to contemplate the dismissal as more than just an invitation to go to the donut shop!
They also give a tutorial on movie end credits, and an homage to Ferris Buehler…