Second Sunday in Advent
The Mission of John the Baptist is my mission
Points to note
When we were baptised, we were baptised in the name of Jesus Christ. The name ‘Christ’ means ‘the anointed one’ in the original Greek. Jesus was anointed as prophet, priest and king. We too were anointed as prophet, priest and king at our baptism, as our namesake, Christ, was.
This Sunday, we look into our role as prophet to proclaim the coming of Jesus, as did the last named prophet in the Bible did, John the Baptist. His role was to proclaim the coming of Christ to the nations, and that too is what we are called to do.
Acclamation before the Gospel
Prepare a way for the Lord,
make his paths straight,
and all mankind shall see the salvation of God. Alleluia!
Explain that this reading is about a prophecy (you may need to explain what a prophecy is) from the Old Testament.
The Lord be with you.
All: And also with your spirit.
A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to St Matthew
All: Glory to you O Lord
The beginning of the Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is written in the book of the prophet Isaiah:
Look, I am going to send my messenger before you;
he will prepare your way.
A voice cries in the wilderness:
Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight.
and so it was that John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. All Judaea and all the people of Jerusalem made their way to him, and as they were baptised by him in the river Jordan they confessed their sins. John wore a garment of camel-skin, and he lived on locusts and wild honey. In the course of his preaching he said, ‘Someone is following me, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals. I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’
This is the Good News of the Lord
How many of us have been baptised? Explain that all baptised people are anointed, meaning that the priest put oil on our head to bless us. Anointing is more than a blessing. It is also a commissioning (you may need to explain this word as well). People who were anointed in the Bible were also given a mission: the prophets in the Old Testament, King David, Jesus. Discuss their missions.
For those of us who were baptised in the name of Jesus Christ, we were also anointed as Jesus was: as prophet, priest and king. So, we were all given the same missions that Jesus was given: as prophet, as priest and as king. Don’t we all want to be on the same mission as Jesus?
What is the mission as a prophet that Jesus had? Explain what the prophets of olden days did: they reminded the people of Israel about God especially when the people of Israel were unfaithful to God and turned away from God’s laws.
The last of the prophets was John the Baptist. He too reminded people to return to God but there was a slight difference to his message. Explain that John was the cousin of Jesus, elder by a few months. The additional message that he had that the prophets of the Old Testament did not was about Jesus’ coming. Like the heralds in the olden days, blowing their trumpets to announce the coming of the king, John also heralded the coming of Jesus.
So, the mission that we are given together with Jesus as a prophet is going to like that of John the Baptist. We too are cousins and brothers of Jesus because we all have the same father in heaven, like John the Baptist. And like John the Baptist, we too are expected to proclaim Jesus to the world and as everyone to return to God.
Discuss how we are to do that. We can proclaim Jesus through words and through actions. There are people who go around and preach to people about Jesus. As children, they will not be ready for that yet as that required a lot of studying about God & the Bible as well as training to be a preacher.
But, we can also proclaim Jesus in what we do. By doing everything that God wanted us to do and by showing to people that we do it because of Jesus. Get the children to give examples of how they were to show Jesus to people by what they do.
It will be good to get the children to be able to commit to doing something to herald Jesus’ coming in this season of Advent. It will be best to be something that they can continue on after Advent as well, and maybe become a life habit.