The Preaching of John the Baptist

December 12, 2021


Sunday Scripture Readings

ZEP 3:14-18A IS 12:2-3, 4, 5-6 PHIL 4:4-7

Explore the Sunday Gospel


LK 3:10-18

The crowds asked John the Baptist,

“What should we do?”

He said to them in reply,

“Whoever has two cloaks

should share with the person who has none.

And whoever has food should do likewise.”

Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him,

“Teacher, what should we do?”

He answered them,

“Stop collecting more than what is prescribed.”

Soldiers also asked him,

“And what is it that we should do?”

He told them,

“Do not practice extortion,

do not falsely accuse anyone,

and be satisfied with your wages.”

Now the people were filled with expectation,

and all were asking in their hearts

whether John might be the Christ.

John answered them all, saying,

“I am baptizing you with water,

but one mightier than I is coming.

I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals.

He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor

and to gather the wheat into his barn,

but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

Exhorting them in many other ways,

he preached good news to the people.


meet our extended family

St. Rene Goupil (Feast Day October 19) 

May 15, 1608 – September 29, 1649 

St. Rene was born in 1607 and entered the Jesuit novitiate in Paris, France, but his deafness prevented his joining the order. He then studied medicine, and in 1639, offered to work as a medic for the Jesuit missionaries in America. He was a missionary to the Huron Indians, working as a layman without pay. After working in a hospital in Quebec for two years, he assisted St. Isaac Jogues on his missionary travels.


He was captured and severely tortured by the Iroquois, enemies of the Huron, for making the sign of the cross over a child’s head. This gesture was mistaken for some type of curse. While they were in captivity, Fr. Isaac received Rene into the Jesuits as a religious brother. He was the first of the order in the Canadian missions to suffer martyrdom. In his letters, Fr. Jogues, called him "an angel of innocence and a martyr of Jesus Christ." He was killed by a blow to the head, and as he died, he invoked the name of Jesus.


Take time to chat

  • In the first part of today’s Gospel, Jesus tells the crowds to share food and clothing with those who go without. What are some ways your family can share with those who are less fortunate?
  • The preaching of John the Baptist inspired and filled the people with a feeling of expectation. Share a time when you were inspired or filled with expectation.
  • Why do you think people thought that John the Baptist might be the Christ (Messiah)?
  • St. Rene Goupil had plans to join the Jesuits but he was unable to originally. However, he was open to God’s plan and God was able to use his gifts in a different way to build the kingdom of God. Are you open to God’s plan for your life? Why or why not?


Recipe of the week

Easy Mexican Street Tacos

On this Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe it is fitting to celebrate with Mexican Street Tacos.

1 lb. chicken thighs boneless, skinless

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. oregano

2 Tbsp. lime juice

¼ cup orange juice

2 cloves garlic minced

3 Tbsp. olive oil

corn tortillas



pico de gallo

chopped avocado

shredded queso cheese

corn kernels (roasted on grill or in oven and cut off the husks)

Combine chicken, cumin, oregano, lime juice, orange juice, garlic, and olive oil in a bowl. Marinate at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours. Grill or broil chicken over medium heat until no pink remains. Once cooked, remove chicken and rest 3 minutes. Chop into ½ inch cubes. Meanwhile, warm tortillas on a skillet. Top tortillas with chicken and toppings as desired. Serve with a side of rice. Enjoy!


Family Fun

Puppet Show

Puppet shows allow children to use their imagination and really get into a story. Help your family re-live the beautiful stories of Advent by making puppets and putting on a puppet show! You can re-tell the Gospel story of John the Baptist, St. Rene, or Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego. Puppets can be made by decorating brown paper bags with construction paper cut outs, markers, or crayons. The puppet show can be presented from behind a couch or loveseat. Let the show begin!


Other Ideas


Family Prayer

Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe


On December 9, 1531, in Mexico, Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego, a poor humble Aztec man who had recently converted to the Catholic faith. She asked him to go to the Bishop and tell him to build a church where she said, “I will show and offer all of my love, my compassion, my help and my protection to my people.” Juan Diego did as she asked, but the Bishop asked for a sign that this message was really from Our Lady.

Mary granted his request. On December 12, she showed Juan where the most beautiful Castilian roses were and told him to gather them. It was a miracle that the roses were there and in bloom because there was frost on the ground, and the ground was an infertile place where only cactus and thistles grew. After he gathered them, Mary helped arrange them in his tilma, or poncho, and told him to show them to the Bishop.

When he brought them to the Bishop, the Bishop was amazed at the roses, but was even more amazed at what began to happen to Juan Diego’s tilma. Right before their very eyes, the image of Our Lady began to form on the cloth. The picture of Mary was beautiful, and the Bishop fell to his knees. He had the church built at her request.

The tilma is still intact after 470 years. The colors have not faded, and the cloth has not deteriorated. It has been on display in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe all this time.

The image of Our Lady that appeared on the tilma was very significant to the Aztec people. God had her dressed in a way that they would understand who she was. She was dressed in royal clothes; that showed that she was very important, perhaps a queen. She also had the symbol of the cross at her neck which was the same symbol the Spaniards had on their ships and in the churches they built. She had a sash tied around her waist which meant that she was with child, for this was the way the Aztec women dressed when they were pregnant. And on her beautiful dress were all sorts of designs and flowers. But there was one flower on her dress that was very significant. It had only four petals. To the Aztecs, the four-petal flower was the symbol for the true God, the God above all gods. This flower was located on her abdomen, right over the place where Jesus was growing inside of her. The Aztecs immediately understood that this was the mother of the true God!

This appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe was very important to the history of our continent. The Aztecs and the Spaniards were on the brink of war. The Aztec culture and religion were very different from the Spaniards’. They worshipped gods, to whom they would offer human sacrifices, often killing 50,000 people a year. The Spaniards, who were Catholic, were naturally disgusted by this. But they were cruel to the Aztecs too, treating them like animals and sometimes killing them for no reason. If a war had occurred, it would have been very brutal and the Spaniards and Christianity would have been totally wiped out.

Mary’s appearance changed everything. It helped the Aztec people to embrace Christianity, and it helped the Spaniards to treat them with respect and as human beings. In seven years, six million Aztecs converted to the Catholic faith. This was the biggest conversion in the history of the Church! That is why Our Lady of Guadalupe is the Patroness of the Americas. Juan Diego, the humble man to whom she appeared, was canonized in the summer of 2002.

Share this prayer as a family from St. Pope John Paul II:

O Virgin of Guadalupe,

Mother of the Americas,

grant to our homes the grace of loving

and respecting life in its beginnings,

with the same love with which

you conceived in your womb

the life of the Son of God.

Blessed Virgin Mary,

Mother of Fair Love,

protect our families so that

they may always be united

and bless the upbringing of our children.

Our hope, look upon us with pity,

teach us to go continually to Jesus,

and if we fall

help us to rise again and return to Him

through the confession of our faults

and our sins in the Sacrament of penance,

which gives peace to the soul.

We beg you to grant us a great love

of all the holy Sacraments,

which are, as it were,

the signs that your Son left us on earth.

Thus, Most Holy Mother,

with the peace of God in our consciences,

with our hearts free from evil and hatred,

we will be able to bring to all others

true joy and peace,

which come to us from your Son,

our Lord Jesus Christ,

who with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

lives and reigns for ever and ever.


Liturgy Link

Liga a la Liturgia

How many times did you hear the Holy Spirit mentioned at Mass today?

Unleashing the Gospel in your Family

Haz Llegar el Evangelioen tu Familia

Find a YouTube video on the celebration of the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City and a video on the miraculous image of Guadalupe. Watch both videos as a family.

¡Datos Interesantes!

Fun Facts!

Text Link

The third Sunday of Advent is traditionally called Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is the Latin word meaning “rejoice.” Some people mark this Sunday on their Advent wreath with a pink candle instead of a purple candle. This Sunday is a joyful reminder that our salvation is near.