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RCIA – 4B Advent

Top Planning Resources for Sunday


by Larry Broding

Wait, accept, and cooperate

The narrative of the Annunciation brought many themes together: divine revelation, fulfillment of prophecy, teaching on the Trinity, the nature of faith as trust. But, at its core, the narrative is the call of the first Christian and her total, perfect response. — Larry Broding


Divine favor

God declared David “his son.” Through Christ, we are sons and daughters of God. How have you enjoyed God’s favor this week? How can you show others they, too, are children of the Almighty?


Where are you God?

Have you felt abandoned by God? How have such dark times shaken your faith? Reflect on your own crises of faith. How has God helped you to survive and grow closer to him?


Why praise God?

How do you use the three gifts God has given you? How have you praised God for his gifts?


The honor of God

Have you ever been criticized something you valued? Think of your parents and family and friends. How have they withstood criticism and prejudice for your sake? How can you honor them for their “yes?” How can you help pass on the faith, despite the cost?
©1999-2020 Larry Broding. Material may be copied for personal use or for use in any non-profit ministry. Materials may not be sold or used for personal financial gain.

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.


Introductory video to this Sunday by Larry Broding at Word-Sunday.com.

RCIA Questions

4B Advent

Directions: On this page you will find questions on the Sunday Readings that can be used in RCIA or Faith Sharing groups. Clicking on the PDF icons at bottom right will  give participants additional commentary and resources.

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Small Group Questions (Option A)

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.Mary received her call to ministry at a young age. When and how did you receive your call?

3.Can you name a time when it was very hard for you to say ‘yes’ to God?

4.What is your relationship to Mary? What has helped it to develop?

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

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

Small Group Questions (Option B)

by Fr. Bauer

1. Fr. John Shea is a theologian and poet. One of his poem’s is entitled: “A Prayer of Wholehearted Commitment.” It ends with the words: So it is to You, that my most resounding “yes” is a maybe, and it is with one eye on the door that I say ‘Behold, Lord, your servant waiteth!’” Trusting in God isn’t always easy. What helps you to trust in God as Mary did?

2. Our First reading reminds us that God doesn’t operate on our timetable or according to our ideas. Can you remember a time when you realized the truth of this?

3. If you wrote a prayer of praise for God what would it contain?

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

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Discussion Questions

by Fr. Clement Thibodeau

1. What can we learn about Mary from this passage? Describe the values that seem to guide her everyday life. Be real about evaluating her concerns. What kind of personality did she have? What were some of her religious beliefs? Where was the center of her attention? What other things were also part of her attention, ifnot at the center? Compare her concerns with those of the Church today. Are there differences? Why?

2. What are the traditional “feminine”qualities which are offered to us for imitation here? How can these typically feminine traits be incorporated into the personalities of Christian men? How can they be seen a complementing the usual masculine traits? Are men to be considered less masculinewhen they absorb and live out the characteristics of the Virgin Mary

3. Study the response of Mary to the Lord’s invitation.What elements does it contain thatwe would do well to incorporate into our prayers and into our response to God’s call? Do you see eagerness to do God’s will in your own life, in the life of your family, in the life of the Church? Do you see a concern that without God’s power we can do nothing? Are we satisfied that we can and shouldproceed once we have heard God’s answer to our questions?

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

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Bible Study Questions

by Vince Contreras

1. What ways was the prophecy from God to David about his kingdom and his posterity (which we hear in the 1st Reading) most literally fulfilled in Jesus Christ?

2. How does the 2nd Reading make clear God’s salvation was fulfilled according to his own plan?

3. In the Gospel Reading, how does Gabriel’s announcement to Mary compare with his announcement to Zechariah (verses 13-17)? What is different in her response?

4. What truths about Jesus are emphasized in this passage? What expectations must have been raised in Mary (Luke 1:46-55, 69-79)?

5. What would it mean to doubt and fear God? When were you recently fearful, but believing? How did God meet you where you were at that time?

6. In what area of your life do you need to believe that “nothing will be impossible with God”? What keeps you from believing this?

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

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