December 17
Third Sunday of Advent



St. John the Baptist (Feast Day June 24)

First Century

John the Baptist was the cousin of Jesus and the “forerunner” for Jesus. He had a very clear mission from God. John spent his time in the desert. As the crowds came to John, he knew that the mission was not about himself. His mission was to point to the one who would come after him, Jesus. He began to announce the coming of the kingdom and to call everyone to a fundamental reformation of life. His purpose was to prepare the way for Jesus. John baptized with water for repentance, but one would come who would baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. John knew that his one goal in life was to help people see who Jesus really was: the Lamb of God, sent from the Father, to take away the sins of the world. John was beheaded by King Herod.


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·      What does it mean for John the Baptist to “testify to the light”?

·      Do you think it was hard for John to admit that he wasn’t as important as Jesus?

·      What is different at Mass during Advent?

·      How is the life and mission of John the Baptist similar to the life and mission of a Christian?

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Ornament Quiz

By now your Christmas tree is probably up. Count how many ornaments are on your tree. When did you get each ornament? What does it remind you of? Do any ornaments have a special story behind them? What is your favorite ornament? Bonus question: If you were an ornament, which one would you be? Why?

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“Locusts” on a Log

In the Gospel today, we heard of John the Baptist living on “locusts (grasshoppers) and wild honey.” For today’s recipe, we can eat like he did!




Trim a stalk of celery and cut into 4-inch pieces. Stop each end of the celery with a raisin.

Fill celery with honey. Place “locusts” (raisins) on top of the honey. Serve and enjoy!

Upgrade option: Order real edible locusts online to serve instead of raisins!  

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Renewal of Baptismal Promises

In preparation for the coming of Christ, recite the promises you or your parents made for you at your baptism. It is good for dad (or mom) to ask the questions and for each child to respond individually. Responses are in bold. Parents can ask each other these questions as well.

Do you reject Satan? I do.

And all his works? I do.

And all his empty promises? I do.

Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth? I do.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father? I do.

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting? I do.

God, the all-powerful Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit and forgiven all our sins. May he also keep us faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ for ever and ever. Amen.

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The third Sunday of Advent has a special name that starts with the letter “G.” Your priest or deacon will most likely use this special name at some point during Mass. See if you can be the first one to hear it!

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As a family, spend some time talking about the “reason for the season”.

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One of the ancient customs of the Church is praying the “O Antiphons” in anticipation of Christmas. These are different prophecies from the Old Testament ascribing titles to the coming Messiah. Each is prayed daily (at Mass and during the Liturgy of the Hours) from December 17-24. These antiphons are heard in the verses of the popular hymn “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”

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