Sunday School Focus Newsletter

Second Sunday of Advent Readings December 14, 2014

First Reading

IS 40:1-5, 9-11

Comfort, give comfort to my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her
that her service is at an end,
her guilt is expiated;
indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD
double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:
In the desert prepare the way of the LORD!
Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God!
Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill shall be made low;
the rugged land shall be made a plain,
the rough country, a broad valley.
Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together;
for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Go up on to a high mountain,
Zion, herald of glad tidings;
cry out at the top of your voice,
Jerusalem, herald of good news!
Fear not to cry out
and say to the cities of Judah:
Here is your God!
Here comes with power
the Lord GOD,
who rules by his strong arm;
here is his reward with him,
his recompense before him.
Like a shepherd he feeds his flock;
in his arms he gathers the lambs,
carrying them in his bosom,
and leading the ewes with care.

Responsorial Psalm

PS 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14

R/ (8)

Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD—for he proclaims peace to his people.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.

Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.

Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and prepare the way of his steps.

Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.

Second Reading

2 PT 3:8-14

Do not ignore this one fact, beloved,
that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years
and a thousand years like one day.
The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard “delay,”
but he is patient with you,
not wishing that any should perish
but that all should come to repentance.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief,
and then the heavens will pass away with a mighty roar
and the elements will be dissolved by fire,
and the earth and everything done on it will be found out.

Since everything is to be dissolved in this way,
what sort of persons ought you to be,
conducting yourselves in holiness and devotion,
waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God,
because of which the heavens will be dissolved in flames
and the elements melted by fire.
But according to his promise
we await new heavens and a new earth
in which righteousness dwells.
Therefore, beloved, since you await these things,
be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him, at peace.


LK 3:4, 6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths:
all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


MK 1:1-8

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way.
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.”

John the Baptist appeared in the desert
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
People of the whole Judean countryside
and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem
were going out to him
and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River
as they acknowledged their sins.
John was clothed in camel’s hair,
with a leather belt around his waist.
He fed on locusts and wild honey.
And this is what he proclaimed:
“One mightier than I is coming after me.
I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.
I have baptized you with water;
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Reflection As The Religious Education Teacher

It is the second week of the Advent season and we continue to prepare for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ! You know how busy this time of year can be with the demands that the outside world puts on all of us: shopping, decorating, wrapping, concerts, school events, work, not to mention all of the regular daily activities that we must take care of in order to keep lives in order. We feel this, and so do your students, yet do we still feel that inexplicable excitement that also comes this season?

In the first reading coming up this week, Isaiah proclaims that we should give comfort to all of his people. In these turbulent times, we as Catholics need to teach our young children of God's great love, mercy and forgiveness. He is comfort and someone that they should turn to when things are going poorly, but also to say good morning to, to share wonderful moments with, and to have a regular prayerful dialogue with in order to know Him fully. Putting up the Christmas tree is a wonderful tradition that most children partake in; teach them in your CCD class to use that time for some inner prayer time with God to thank him for traditions, parents who are bringing him/her up as a Catholic, for the good fortune to have a tree and to pray for those less fortunate.

In the second reading Peter asks us to realize that time as we know it does not exist for God. "one day is like a thousand years". While we cannot fathom a timeless existence, the bigger idea of making each moment count because each one is equally important in the eyes of the Lord, does resonate with us as caring and loving people. Peter asks the easy and hard question: what kind of person aught we be? This is so easy to answer in our heads, but so hard to live daily in practice! This would be a great discussion for students who have already made their first confessions and discuss the gift of confession and how that is a wonderful way to prepare for Christmas during the Advent season.

In the Gospel, John the Baptist is in the dessert with people who are searching for answers--they were searching for the goodness and God. Just like in today's world, people have always been looking for the Truth, God's healing touch, to feel close to Heaven and John's job was to let them know that the time of the messiah's coming was drawing near. Keep the faith!

Your job as a religious education teacher is incredibly important. Outside of the home, you may be the only one proclaiming His word. As Jesus said, let the children come to me. They come to him through you.

Second Sunday of Advent Readings for Young Catholics


Isaiah 61:1-2

A reading from the book of the prophet Isaiah

The Spirit of the LORD God has come to me,

because he has chosen me.

The LORD has sent me to tell the oppressed the good news,

to heal the brokenhearted,

and to announce freedom for prisoners and captives.

This is the year when the LORD God

will show kindness to us and punish our enemies.

The LORD has sent me to comfort all who mourn.

The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm

Luke 1:47 and 49, 53-54

All: My soul rejoices in my God.

With all my heart I praise the Lord,

and I am glad because of God my Savior.

God All-Powerful

has done great things for me,

and his name is holy.

All: My soul rejoices in my God.

God gives the hungry good things to eat,

and he sends the rich away

with nothing in their hands.

He helps his servant Israel

and is always merciful to his people.

All: My soul rejoices in my God.


1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

A reading from the first letter of Paul to the Thessalonians

Brothers and sisters:

Always be joyful and never stop praying.

Whatever happens, keep thanking God

because of Jesus Christ.

This is what God wants you to do.

Don’t turn away God’s Spirit or ignore prophecies.

Put everything to the test.

Accept what is good and don’t have anything to do with evil.

I pray that God, who gives peace,

will make you completely holy.

And may your spirit, soul, and body

be kept healthy and faultless

until our Lord Jesus Christ returns.

The one who chose you can be trusted,

and he will do this.

The word of the Lord.


John 1:19-28

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Sunday John

The Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests

and temple helpers to ask John who he was.

He told them plainly, “I am not the Messiah.”

Then when they asked him if he were Elijah,

he said, “No, I am not!”

And when they asked if he were the Prophet,

he also said “No!”

Finally, they said, “Who are you then?

We have to give an answer to the ones who sent us.

Tell us who you are!”

John answered in the words of the prophet Isaiah,

“I am only someone shouting in the desert,

‘Get the road ready for the Lord!’”

Some Pharisees had also been sent to John.

They asked him, “Why are you baptizing people,

if you are not the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet?”

John told them, “I use water to baptize people.

But here with you is someone you don’t know.

Even though I came first,

I am not good enough to untie his sandals.”

John said this as he was baptizing east of the Jordan River

in Bethany.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Thank you to: Readings from the Contemporary English Version Bible, approved for use in the Lectionary for Masses with Children.

Copyright © 1991 by American Bible Society. Used with permission.

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