December 14, 2021; class #12 (Tuesday after 3rd Advent Sunday; Luke 3:10-18)
[lessons # 21, # 22,  and  # 23: How do we celebrate Jesus Christ? Why does Jesus come to save us? How did the Son of God enter human history?]

Christmas music playlist 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 through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Remember what color chasuble the priest was wearing at Mass this weekend?
It was pink. On the 3rd Sunday of Advent, priests wear pink — which they call “rose.” Next week, on the 4th Sunday of Advent, priests will wear purple again.  Then, at Christmas time, they will wear white. In the Church, every year, we move thru a cycle, year after year. All around the world, in all Catholic churches, the readings are the same on Sunday — in different languages, but all Catholics follow the same liturgical calendar.  The church year begins with Advent. It is the time when we prepare for Christmas, when we remember the birth of Jesus, God’s gift to the world.

At Mass this weekend, the Gospel reading was from the Gospel of Luke.  [
Children's bulletin.]
. . . . . John the Baptist Prepares the Way.
. . . . . John preached to the crowd.
. . . . . He told them to bear fruit for God.
. . . . . John said, “Share what you have.”
. . . . . John also told the soldiers and tax collectors, “Be fair. Be content with your pay.”
. . . . . John preached the good news.

John the Baptist taught people to change their lives and avoid sin. He announced the coming of someone greater than he. He said, “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” ... And who was that person greater than John the Baptist?

Father John video 15, telling of John the Baptist, who came to tell people about the coming of the Light of the World, Jesus. (John 1:6-8, 19-28)

Jesus is the light of the world. Whenever you get lost and confused about what to do in this world, look to the light of Jesus and follow Jesus’ direction. He’ll get you to God.

Now we have some reading to do. ... Can you name any seasons of the church year? What one are we in now?

Let’s begin on page 189. [Read page.]

Now, let’s go to page 195. Do you know what holy day comes right after the time of Advent? [Read page. Do group-read of Luke 1:2-38 (Gabriel bringing news to Mary).]

Now, let’s go to page 200. The message of Christmas is that God loved the world so much that he gave us his only son. The way that it says it in the Bible is this: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son.” We’re going to do the prayer on page 200. The response words are, “Glory to God in the highest.”

Read p. 201. Do activity at bottom of p. 201.
Do group-read of Luke 2:8-20 on p. 202 (Birth of Jesus).

We’ll have snack as we watch a Brother Francis video. The video is about Advent, the time when we prepare for Christmas. Remember: Advent is not Christmas. Advent is the time to prepare for Christmas, for the Christmas season.

... Now, we’ll start snack time, and then I’ll start 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.]

Start video: Brother Francis video “Jesus is coming,” (excerpt)

Brother Francis has some more to explain. It’s about how, for Catholics, Christmas does not end on Christmas day. Christmas is a whole season, the Christmas season. When we next see each other in January, we’ll still be in the Christmas season. It will be coming to an end, but it will still be the Christmas season. Now I’ll let Brother Francis do the talking:
Video: Br. Francis video “What is the Christmas season?” (excerpt)

After video:
If we just watch TV or look at what is happening in stores, we might think that the “Christmas season” begins the day after Thanksgiving and ends on Christmas Day. But, that time before Christmas Day is the time of Advent. Then, many people act as if, by the day after Christmas Day, Christmas is over until the next year. But that’s wrong. The Christmas season has just begun on Christmas Day. In the United States, the Christmas season goes from Christmas Day until the the celebration of the Baptism of the Lord. That will be on January 9th this Christmas season. And before we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord, we'll celebrate the Epiphany. The Epiphany is the day when we remember the wise men who followed the star to find Jesus.

Nativity scene:  (Show image of nativity scene, online.)
Almost 900 years ago, St. Francis of Assisi made a manger scene for Christmas Eve. We celebrate Jesus’ birth on December 25. But we’re not sure what day Jesus was born on. We just don’t know for sure.

Coloring sheets: (Give Christmas-story coloring sheets.)
This is like a little book. Let’s look at each page, and you can tell what you see, and tell the Christmas story thru the pictures you see.
(Pictures: Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary. Angel appeared to Joseph in a dream. Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem. Jesus was born in a stable and laid in a manger — a box used to hold animal food. An angel appeared to shepherds and told them the Saviour had been born. The shepherds found Jesus lying in a manger; then they went forth and told people the good news the angel had told them. Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple 40 days after he was born. to present Jesus to the Lord. Wise men from the east followed a star in search of the Christ Child. They gave him gold, frankincense, and myrrh.)

Closing prayers: Time to say good bye. :-)
We'll begin with the Our Father. You know the words. And you can read them as we all say them:

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.