A decision

First Sunday of Advent

“Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord”, is what we read out today in our responsorial psalm. Perhaps here the verb “let’s go” can be a bit misleading. Do we need to ‘go’ to the house of the Lord, or are we already on our way? In a sense, all of us are on “their way” already. Yes, there are different degrees to how farther one has arrived – but one never starts from scratch in approaching God. God has reached out to all of us, and we all accept and reject Him in our different ways, in different degrees. The question we need to ask ourselves today is: “where have I arrived on my path toward the house of the Lord”? What place am I in at the moment? What has my history with the Lord consisted in? And, how am I looking toward the future – does Jesus play a central role in it?

“Our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed; the night is advanced, the day is at hand”. This verse marks our celebration and our beginning of the Advent period! Of course, it isn’t solely during this period that salvation is near – for Jesus is near us always – but this period acts a practical guide to reminding us of where we are going, who Jesus is, the love that God has for us, our fragility, our smallness, and, not least, our potential divinity through grace! This Advent period opens us to realities that are always there yet which life sometimes has the habit of obscuring. This is why, in the second reading, Paul warns us to be awake. If anything, therefore, let us allow this period to open our eyes again – let us focus our eyes and our heart on the candle which burns brightly and which is Jesus himself! A candle that is there always – deep in our hearts – amidst all doom. 

In the gospel, Jesus warns us not to be unprepared, as people were in the days of Noah. How prepared are we? Can one ever be prepared enough? Perhaps not! But this should not be a cause of worry. Self-perfection is not what God is calling us toward. What Jesus wants is not the self-perfected human, but the person who, amidst all fragility and sin, amidst all failure and imperfection, is able to remain open and humble to His love, healing, and forgiveness. It is not about ‘never failing’, but about willingly allowing ourselves to be healed and guided by our Lord – time and time again. This is what it means to be awake. It means to know what is important and what is less important. It means to know how to be humble and how to receive. It means to make the time to discover ourselves in relation to our creator – reflecting upon our capacity to love others and ourselves. 

Jesus was born because Mary said “yes” to the Father and because Mary was open to trusting the Father with her life! Are we willing to do that? Are we being like Mary? Only in being like her, can we hope to receive Jesus truly in each of our hearts. This is a journey in which we’re helped and guided – a journey in which the Father himself reaches out to us. Precisely, Advent is one way in which God reaches out to us. Let us make the most of this invitation. We also need to reach back – in our own ways. Let’s try, starting from today. Trying is all we can do!”take time to be aware that in the very midst of our busy preparations for the celebration of Christ’s birth in ancient Bethlehem, Christ is reborn in the Bethlehem’s of our homes and daily lives. Take time, slow down, be still, be awake to the Divine Mystery that looks so common and so ordinary yet is wondrously present” – Edward Hays, A Pilgrim’s Almanac

A reading from the Gospel of Matthew (24:37-44)

As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ

  1. Read the Gospel story so that you are familiar with it.
  2. Reflect on what the Gospel story is saying to you. Which points would you highlight and why?
  3. Where have you arrived on your way to the house of the Lord? Where are you at now? And how do you see the future – does Jesus play a central role in it?
  4. Take some time to think of different ways in which you can be more prepared for the coming of the Lord – so that you can appreciate his presence in your life more. What can you change in your life? What can you do? 
  5. Together with your family find the right time to read this Gospel. The environment helps, so before you start, prepare;
    i. The Bible reading from Matthew (24:37-44)
    ii. A candle
    iii. Cover the table with a green cloth
    v. A computer/laptop with the readings and clips
  6. Go through the steps with your children (2 age groups are being suggested).
  7. Feel free to adapt to your situation
  8. Be creative 😊 
  9. Go to the Prayer Corner section to continue praying as a family. 

This week we begin our Advent Journey! In the Gospel passage, Jesus speaks to us about the importance of being aware of His presence and to never forget His love and faithfulness. 

  • The importance of trying to keep Jesus always in our mind and our heart – in our every activity in life.
  • Whiteboard marker
  • Whiteboard

Come rushing in, pretending to look for lost items or appearing very confused.

Oh no, I’m late, where are my things? I’m not ready today…where did I put …? Oh kids! I’m sorry. It looks like I can’t find…I’m not very prepared right now. See, it’s my clock’s fault! (Hold up broken clock, or day planner or calendar). Yes, it doesn’t seem to be working, so I didn’t realize what time it really was. Tell me, have you ever felt like something was happening, and you weren’t prepared for it? Maybe you had a test at school you didn’t study for, or a game or performance that you needed to practice for more. Or you woke up late and felt rushed?

Today we will talk about a very special sort of preparation. We will talk about getting ready for Jesus! Now, we are entering the season of Advent. Do you know what “Advent” means? It means “coming”, and we are getting ready for the coming of Jesus! Advent, therefore, helps us prepare. A lot of people around this time of year get ready for Christmas, maybe by shopping or decorating or getting busy with baking and wrapping and things. But in the church, we prepare to honour the birth of Jesus. God came to Earth as a baby. The people in the time of had been hearing prophecies and predictions about Him, so they were eagerly awaiting for His birth. We know that Jesus already came, and we get to celebrate and be grateful for how God kept His promises in that way!

But guess what? Jesus is going to come back again at some point. The Bible tells us that Jesus will return again, and all our sadness will go away. Do you know when that will be? I don’t. In fact, no one knows when Jesus will come back again. It might be tomorrow…it might be in a hundred years. But Jesus tells us to be ready! Here, let me ask you a question. On Christmas Eve, when you’re in bed – have you ever been so excited that you couldn’t fall asleep – to the point that you started to worry that you might not fall asleep until it is so late that you would then sleep all the way  through Christmas Day? [Wait for answers]

Now, it seems really unlikely that you would ever sleep through all of Christmas Day, but let’s pretend that you did. What would you miss out on? [Wait for answers]

That’s right! You wouldn’t be able to open your presents. You wouldn’t get to see other people open their presents. You wouldn’t get to eat fancy holiday food. And if friends or family were only visiting on Christmas day, you wouldn’t get to see them. In other words, if you slept through Christmas, you would miss out on a whole lot of good things, wouldn’t you?

All this relates to the advice that Jesus is giving us this week. But instead of saying, “don’t sleep through Christmas,” Jesus is telling us to stay awake throughout our life so we don’t miss the gift that Jesus himself brings. So, we need to always be ready! 

How can we be ready for something if we don’t know when or how it will happen?The task is to prepare our hearts.  God is always present with us, and He wants us to be aware of that presence and to live in a way that pleases Him. So, we need to ask, what can we do in order to be mindful of Jesus’ presence? We can pray and read our Bibles. We can try to go to mass more often. We can be more mindful by trying to see Jesus in every person we meet – because Jesus is in everyone! Indeed, therefore, as we all get ready for Christmas, let us try to remember to be thankful for the coming of Jesus and for His presence which is always there.

Sign of the Cross.

Dear God, thank you for coming to Earth for us, thank you for keeping your promises to save us. Help us to live in your presence and know what it means to prepare our hearts for You! Thank you for your love. We love you, dear Jesus! 


Today marks our immersion into the precious season of Advent. Jesus tells us that one day he will come again – but, more important than that, he also wants to be born primarily in our hearts!

activity for children begins at: 1:44

  • We need to keep awake – not be distracted by superficial things. We need to keep our gaze on Jesus and on his constant presence!
  • Whiteboard
  • Whiteboard marker

Once again, we enter into the holy season of Advent! But what is Advent? What do you all think? Provide some time for the children to express themselves. 

Advent is a time of spiritual preparation by which we open ourselves more fully to receive the greatest Gift we could ever receive: Jesus Himself!

The readings for this First Sunday of Advent remind us that Jesus will one day return to this earth. We are reminded that He will return in all His beauty and glory and that this coming will be “at an hour you do not expect…”. This means that no one will know when Jesus will return again! Imagine that Jesus were to return today, or tomorrow. How prepared are you for Him? How prepared are you right now? Take some time to think about this.

After providing some time for the children to reflect, narrate the following scenario. Imagine your best friend was coming to your house for her birthday. You would be happy, wouldn’t you? But, most of all, you would also take the time to prepare the house for her, right? You would fix her room, provide enough space for her, etc. This is what you do when you welcome someone you care about!

Now, the question is, what can we do to prepare for Jesus? Apart from returning to earth one day, Jesus also wants to be born in our heart every day.  Jesus wants to be born in our hearts today. What can be do to be more open to Jesus? 

Some ideas: 

  • Take some time to pray together or alone 
  • Read about the lives of the Saints – Saints are people who were very close to Jesus
  • Speak about Jesus with your friends 

Apart from the above, there are also some charitable activities that we can do to open ourselves to Jesus!

  • Deliver groceries to a food bank
  • Visit grandparents and spend time with them
  • Go visit persons who might appreciate and the energy of children: people in a hospital or rest home
  • Invite someone from outside your family to dinner, or provide dinner for someone foodless

If we were able to live today and every day as if it were the day in which Jesus is coming, then there is little doubt that our relationship with Jesus and with each other would improve and grow!  Let us try, slowly slowly. All we need is some effort! Listen to the Song.

Sign of the cross.

Dear Jesus, you know that it is not always easy for us to keep awake and to keep you in our mind and heart. We can sometimes get distracted by certain activities, holidays, and parties. But this Advent, we pray that you will help us understand you more! We pray that you will help us open our hearts to you, cherishing your presence a little bit every day!


How to use this space

God speaks to us in many ways, including through the Sunday Scripture readings. Here you will find useful background and activities to better understand the upcoming Sunday's Scripture readings, helping you to connect the Scripture to daily life in a meaningful way.