December 7, 2021; class #11 (Tuesday after 2nd Advent Sunday; Luke 3:1-6)
[lessons # 2 and  # 4; p. 27 & p. 43: Who is God? Who is Jesus Christ?]

Xmas instrumental music playing at start of class.

Let’s begin with the Sign of the Cross:

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Come, Holy Spirit, and fill the hearts of your faithful. Light the fire of your love in them. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created, and you will renew the face of the earth. We ask this thru Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Remember that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are the Trinity, also called the Blessed Trinity. When I was a child, we called the Holy Spirit the Holy Ghost. It means the same thing. ... So, what are the three parts of the Blessed Trinity? Do you remember? ...

What color chasuble was the priest wearing at Mass this weekend? ...
We’ve moved out of “green time” for now, and now we’re in purple time. Priests wear purple during Advent, the time when we prepare for Christmas. Then, at Christmas time, they wear white. Look at this colored circle. [Show page 185 in textbook.] ... The circle shows what we call the “liturgical calendar.” That’s the church calendar.  It shows the cycle that we move thru, year after year. Every year, we go thru a cycle of reading certain parts of the Bible, in a certain order. What is read at Mass is part of the “liturgy,” part of what Catholics do, week after week, year after year. The church year begins with Advent. It is the time when we prepare for Christmas, when we remember the birth of Jesus, who was God’s gift to the world. It is Advent now. It is not yet Christmas.

At Mass this weekend, the Gospel reading was from the Gospel of Luke. The “John” whom Luke was writing about was John the Baptist. The mother of John the Baptist and the mother of Jesus were cousins -- not 1st cousins, but distantly related cousins. John the  Baptist and Jesus were the same age. Their moms new each other, and their moms were pregnant with them at the same time.

Let’s read the story that the priest read from the Gospel on Sunday:
Children's bulletin]
. . . . . The word of God came to John the Baptist in the wilderness.
. . . . . John the Baptist taught the people about forgiveness of sins.
. . . . . John the Baptist worked to prepare the way for Jesus.
. . . . . The Bible says all people will see God’s salvation.

John the Baptist taught people about the forgiveness of sins, and he prepared the way for Jesus. John the Baptist is also called John the Baptizer. By the time he was a man, people would have seen him as a little odd: He lived alone in the desert; he ate strange food; he lived extremely modestly and wore clothes that were little more than ragged cloth. He spent his days telling people to repent and to stop sinning, and he told them that the messiah was coming.

So, John the Baptist spent his days telling people not to sin. No matter how things are in the world, that’s a good message to remember: Do not sin. You are Catholic, and your moms are raising you Catholic. You know the very basics: Worship God. Honor your parents. Don’t hurt people. Don’t steal. Don’t lie. No matter how crazy the world gets, those are the rules that your moms want you to follow, and those are the rules that God wants you to follow. And that’s what John the Baptist told people:
Don’t sin!

This week we’re doing two lessons. The first lesson starts on page 27, and it’s something that we’ve talked about before: Who is God?” [Read pages 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32. Skip all activities.]

Now we go to page 43: “Who is Jesus Christ?” [Read pages 43, 44, 45, 46, 47. Skip to page 49; read short bio on Mary. Skip all activities.] 

You need to pay attention to the definition of the word “angel.” Look on page 44, at the top of the page, above the pretty picture. The book says, “angel: an invisible being that is a messenger of God.” ... What does “invisible” mean? ... Do you understand that means that angels cannot REALLY be seen? Artists make pictures of angels, but angels don’t really have bodies and wings. No one can see angels. They are messengers of God, but they do not have bodies. They are real, but you cannot see them.

We’ll have snack as we watch a Brother Francis video. The video is about Mary, the mother of Jesus. The title is “Who is Mary?” It tells some of the same story that we just read. The story is one of the most important stories. So, before Brother Francis tells you about Mary, I’ll quickly tell you about Mary, and then Brother Francis will tell you again:

Mary is Jesus’ mother. She also is known as “the Blessed Virgin,” and “the Holy Mother of God,” and “Queen of Heaven,” and “Blessed Mother,” and “Our Lady.” Mary was born in Jerusalem. She was Jewish, and she grew up among Jewish people. All of her family were Jewish. When she was not much more than a young girl -- maybe 14 or 15 years old -- and living in the small town of Nazareth, Mary was visited by the archangel Gabriel. His message to Mary was this:

“The Lord is with you. Do not be afraid, for you have found favor with God. You will conceive and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of God. And his kingdom will have no end.”

And Mary said, “Here I am, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to the Lord.”

Mary was betrothed to Joseph, a man who was a carpenter. ... (“Betrothed” means engaged to be married, but not married yet.) ... While Mary was pregnant with Jesus, Joseph and Mary had to travel to Bethlehem because of a census. Bethlehem was Joseph’s hometown. While in Bethlehem, Mary gave birth to Jesus. Because there was no room in the inn (like a hotel or motel), Mary gave birth in a place where the animals were kept. After Mary gave birth, she was visited by magi (wise men) who had followed the directions of a star in the sky, to find the baby Jesus.  

Now, snack time, and we'll watch the Brother Francis video.

Remember our prayer before meals?
Bless us, O Lord, and these gifts that we are about to receive from Thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

[snack: Christmas cookies and milk.]
Video: Brother Francis video #4: Who Is Mary?

After video, Mary quiz sheets. 
This is a quiz, but you can work it together to come up with the right answers.

Now, we’re going to have a very quick review of what you just learned.
Father John video #10: Gabriel visited Mary. (Luke 1:26-38) (excerpt)

Tomorrow, Wednesday, will be a special day in the church calendar. We celebrate it as “the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Mother.” It is what we call a “Holy Day of obligation” for Catholics. It’s the day when we honor Mary for HER having been conceived, for HER first coming into existence. Without Mary, we could not have gotten to Jesus. Mothers are pretty important. :-) So, if your mom tells you tomorrow, “We’ll be going to church,” that’s why you’ll be going to church. It’s a Holy Day of obligation, and it’s for Mary, Jesus’ mother.

Now, we have a neat coloring sheet! :-)

Time to say good bye. :-)
We'll begin with the Our Father. You know the words. You can follow along as we all say them:

Closing prayers:
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Saint Michael the Archangel, please defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke the devil, we humbly pray.
And do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God,
cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits,
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.