Second Week of Advent – Prepare!
Catechesis At Home – “Prepare!”
Second Week of Advent – Year B
The voice in the desert cries out, “Prepare the way of the Lord!” (Isaiah 40:3, Mark 1:3)
How do you prepare for big events? How do you prepare for a regular day or week?
Most likely, you have certain things you do for various occasions. You may have a daily work or school routine that includes making your lunch or choosing your clothes the night before. Your Sunday morning or Saturday evening routine is probably a bit different from your weekday routine, making preparations for Mass. And then you have those occasions when you are preparing for a big event like hosting a birthday or Christmas party. There are lots of things to do for those!
Consider the following lists:
Preparing for Christmas
- Put up decorations
- Write Santa a letter
- Shop for presents
- Wrap presents
- Bake or cook special foods
- Listen to and sing Christmas carols
- Read or watch Christmas stories
- Send Christmas cards
- Get ready to entertain guests or travel to see family or friends
Preparing my heart for Christmas
- Light the Advent candles
- Follow an Advent calendar
- Pray special prayers
- Go to Confession
- Put up a nativity set/scene
- Sing “O come, o come Emmanuel”
- Read the weekly and/or daily Scriptures
- Reflect on Mary and Joseph’s journey
- Give to others
Look at these lists together and circle the ones the family does. How many things on each list are a regular part of your preparations for Christmas? What are your favorites? Which ones sometimes can be a drag?
Are there other preparations that you do that are not on these lists? You may have family traditions that make the season of Advent a true preparation for the birth of our Lord.
As a family, talk about which preparations help you become closer to Christ and which preparations might take you away or distract you from Him. Help each other recognize those things and see if there are changes that can be made to eliminate or mitigate the distractions from Jesus. Everything on both lists is good and can be a blessing to you and your family as you…
To Think About
Remember, Advent is a time for preparation. Anticipation this time of year can drive us crazy, especially if we see a tree in the house and imagine all the toys under it! No matter how old we get, we desire what we cannot see – all wrapped up and waiting for us to open.
Discuss with the family what it is like to anticipate Christmas morning. Do you get crazy, maybe shake a few presents? What other things drive us crazy in anticipation?
Kids will talk about birthday parties, the season for their sport they play in, school letting out, going to grandparents’ homes, and more. That’s exciting stuff, so hype it up with them and let them know how exciting it is for you!
Parents get the last word:
When everyone is excited and smiling, tell them how agonizing it was, preparing and anticipating their birth. Talk about the preparation – getting a room or corner of your bedroom ready for their arrival; seeing the signs in body changes; the discomfort still emotionally overwhelmed by the anticipation; everything you can think of to show them ho excited you were – just like they are now – for their birth.
Then tell them that’s why we prepare for Jesus. We are making room for Him, preparing the way of The Lord, and getting the unnecessary stuff out of our lives so that He can fill as much of our life as possible. That’s why we put up decorations, and the presents are just reminders of the gifts He was given and, most importantly… The Gift He is to us, and the Gift He gives to us!
To finish the week, get a small box, and have everyone write on a small piece of paper what they are doing to prepare for Jesus and make more room in their lives and hearts for Him. Nobody gets to peek at anybody else’s paper! Then, put them in the small box, wrap the box, and put it under the tree. Never unwrap it – bring it out every year as the first present under the tree, and put it in a bigger box with new slips of paper from everyone, with that box wrapped and placed under the tree first. Repeat every year!
Don’t forget to check out:
- Advent Resources to help you prepare your heart and home for the coming of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!
- A short teaching about the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary coming up on December 8 – a Holy Day of Obligation and the United States’ Patroness Feast Day!
- Hail Mary Infographic you can print and hang up in your home!
- Nicholas’s Story and a prayer card to print and share for his feast day – December 6!