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RCIA – 2B Advent

Word-Sunday

by Larry Broding

How do we prepare for the Lord?

FIRST READING

Announcement: Freedom and Return!

How do you plan to turn away from the self this Advent? And turn towards God?

PSALM

Come, Lord, restore us

How have you prayed in times of desperation? What were the results of those prayers?
How can times like Advent restore your spirit?

SECOND READING

Return of the good times

Do you look back with fondness to a certain time in your life? Why?
How can you leave your memories and worries at the feet of the Lord?

GOSPEL

Anticipation proclamation

What recent advertising pitch or headline sticks out in your memory? Why is it memorable?
How has your prayer life changed in this holiday season? Is your prayer time filled with anticipation or with dread? In other words, is the thought of Christmas cheerful? Or, does the thought of preparation (decorations, present buying, financial stress) get you down?
Have you taken the time to hear the words of John and change for the better?
Think of one or two things you have done in the past week that communicates to others what is in your heart. Thank God if your “proclamation” led others to him. Ask God for forgiveness if you scandalized others. Now, plan one or two ways you can “proclaim” Christ to others this week.

Living the Word

by Fr. Frank Bird, sm

Hearing and living the Sunday readings

Discussion Guide

Los Angeles Bishop David O'Connel provides PDFs of the Sunday Gospel Reading and also instructions on how to use this Gospel Reflection Process. PDF’s are available in both English and Spanish.

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RCIA Questions

2B Advent

Video by Larry Broding at Word-Sunday.com. Links are in the left column.

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Small Group Questions

by Fr. Eamon Tobin

1. Turn to the person next to you and share what word/s or image/s in the readings caught your attention. Did they comfort or challenge you or touch you in some way?

2. “Comfort, give comfort to my people.”Who in your life needs to hear words of comfort?

3. Who has been a John the Baptist figure in your life, someone who pointed you to Jesus?

4. What does ‘preparing a way for the Lord’ mean for you during this Advent Season?

5. Name one thing today’s Gospel says to us that we disciples of Jesus need to heed and act on.

©2020 Fr. Eamon Tobin. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

More Questions

1. I have always been impressed with John the Baptist’s clarity in regard to his mission.   How do you think he came to such clarity?

2. During this season of Advent, who or what is calling you to prepare the way and repent of your sins?   How are you called to do this?

3. Sometimes messengers — like John the Baptist — come in unlikely guises.    Who has been a “messenger” of God for you?   In what unlikely guise did they appear?  What was their message?  Were you consoled or challenged by this message?

4. John describes himself as not being worthy to carry Jesus’ sandals.  How would you describe yourself in relation to Jesus?

5. In retrospect, can you think of an instance when God’s time was not your time?

© 2020 The Basilica of Saint Mary | All rights reserved.

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Discussion Questions

by Fr. Clement Thibodeau

1. From what you know of the spiritual condition of the people to whom John addressed his message, do you see any similarities with the people of the world in which we live today? Do we, too, need the transforming hand of God to touch us for a renewal and a new life in the Spirit? What are some of our needs that only God can supply? What would repentance mean, concretely, for the people of this culture and this way of life in America?

2. Who are the “messengers” from God who are preparing the way of the Lord today? Are there any at all? What is their message? How can we tell they are truly speaking for God? Is the Church willing to hear those messengers today? Are the people of secular society inclined to hear God’s messengers? Do you think that the New Age Movement might really be based on a misguided thirst for spirituality? Why such an interest in angels among people with no particular religious background? Aren’t angels really divine messengers in the first place?

3. What obstacles are there in our experience of the Church and its ministry which tend to obscure the face of Jesus and make us hesitate before we give ourselves over entirely to his care? Do you remember how Pope Saint John XXIII, 55 years ago, called for a renewal of the Church so that the “face of Jesus might be more clearly seen” in the lives of the Church’s members? Has anything happened to make it so in these 55 years? Are we now more overtly portraying the image of Christ without sinful distortions? How could we do better?

© 2017 Portland Diocese / Father Clement D. Thibodeau. Used with permission.

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Bible Study Questions

by Vince Contreras

1. In the 1st Reading, what is coming to an end for God’s people? How are they to prepare for what’s coming? What will it look like when it finally arrives?

2. In the 2nd Reading, what attitude does St. Peter advise us to have while awaiting the return of Jesus? With what does he say we should occupy ourselves during this time?

3. What does Mark (and the Church) mean by “the gospel [good news] of Jesus Christ” (verse 1)? How would you explain the basic message to someone who asked?

4. What do the contexts of the quotes in verses 2-3 (Malachi 3:1; Isaiah 40:3; Exodus 23:20) teach about the “coming one”?

5. Why is John the Baptist’s message so popular with the crowds (verses 4-5)? What does the Church teach about John (CCC 717—720)?

6. Given John’s message (verses 7-8) what type of person are the crowds anticipating (see Isaiah 32:15-20)?

7. What from your life illustrates what it means to “repent”? What can you do (or not do) to prepare for the Lord’s coming and to make this a more fruitful Advent?

8. John the Baptist prepared “the way of the Lord” (Matthew 3:3; Isaiah 40:3). Who prepared the way of the Lord in your life?

© 2011 Sunday Scripture Study for Catholics by Vince Contreras. Used with permission.

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