EXPLORE THE SUNDAY GOSPEL
MEET OUR EXTENDED FAMILY
Bl. Charles de Foucauld (Feast Day December 1)
Blessed Charles de Foucauld was born into an aristocratic family in Strasbourg, France. When he was a teenager, Charles distanced himself from the faith and claimed that he no longer believed in God. In 1876, Charles joined the French army and was sent to Algeria. His experience in the army inspired him to take up travel and exploration. Charles set out for a one-year exploration expedition to Morocco. Because Europeans were forbidden in Morocco, Charles disguised himself as a Jew.
When he returned to France, he felt a strong interior grace to go back to Church. He would spend long hours there repeating this strange prayer: “My God, if you exist, allow me to know you!” Eventually, Charles felt the call to leave everything and follow Jesus. He became a Trappist monk, and after 7 years, Charles left the monastery and worked as a gardener and sacristan for the Poor Clare nuns in Nazareth, and then later in Jerusalem. At the age of 43, he returned to France and was ordained a priest. Later that year Charles journeyed to Beni-Abbes, Morocco, to serve among the Tuareg people, a nomadic ethnic group. He was deeply respectful of the faiths and cultures he lived among and became a “brother” to the people. De Foucauld was the inspiration for the founding of several lay associations, religious communities, and secular institutes of laity and priests. He was assassinated by a band of men at his hermitage in the Sahara on Dec. 1, 1916. On May 26, 2020, Pope Francis approved a second miracle attributed to de Foucauld’s intercession, paving the way for his canonization.
TAKE TIME TO CHAT
· In today’s Gospel, Jesus wants us to be ready when he comes again. We do not know when that will be. What are some ways you can stay vigilant and be ready for Jesus?
· The word “redemption” means being saved from sin. Does everyone in the world need to be saved from sin? Explain your answer.
· What does it mean to “stand before the Son of Man” at the end of time? How can we prepare for this now?
· What would it be like to be a missionary to people of other faiths and cultures?
Create an Advent Wreath
Advent wreaths help us to “prepare the way of the Lord.” Create an Advent wreath for your home or to give as a gift. There are a variety of ways to create an Advent wreath. Here are two ideas:
· 4 toilet paper tubes
· Purple construction paper and/or marker
· Pink construction paper and/or marker
· Green construction paper (or green marker or crayons)
· 1 piece of yellow paper (construction paper, Post-it notes, highlighted paper, etc.)
· A round plate (a paper plate is fine)
Cut the green paper into a circle so that it fits on top of the plate. Trace handprints on the green paper to make leaves for on the wreath. Wrap 3 of the toilet paper tubes in purple construction paper or color them purple. Wrap the remaining toilet paper roll in pink. Place the tubes on the plate, spaced evenly around the perimeter. Secure them with tape. Make flames from the yellow paper and tape the flames on the candles as appropriate.
· 12” wire wreath frame
· Soft greenery garland (if you have a dollar store near you, check them out for this.)
· Purple poinsettia flowers or other purple flowers
· Advent candle set
· 4 candle holders
· white Christmas ribbon
· greenery ties
· glue gun
garland around your wire wreath until it is completely covered. Use hot glue to
hold it in place. Next, take the white ribbon and wrap it around until you’ve
found your desired placement. Secure it with a small dab of hot glue. Using a
little bit of floral wire or greenery ties, space out the candle holders as
evenly in place as possible and secure in place. Fill in empty areas of your
wreath with purple poinsettia flowers and use a little bit of hot glue to hold
them in place. Add the candles and you’re done!
RECIPE OF THE WEEK
Veggie-Stuffed Holiday Crescent Wreath
Speaking of wreaths, enjoy this dish as a first course!
6 slices bacon
½ cup chive-and-onion cream cheese spread (from 8-oz container)
2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent rolls
2 cups frozen broccoli florets (from 14-oz bag), thawed, finely chopped and patted dry with paper towel
1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. sesame seed
Fresh rosemary, if desired
Heat oven to 375°F. Cook bacon as desired until crisp. Drain on paper towel; crumble bacon and set aside.
Unroll both cans of dough; separate into 16 triangles. On ungreased large cookie sheet, arrange triangles with shortest sides toward center (in the shape of a star), overlapping in wreath shape and leaving 4-inch round circle open in center. Crescent dough points may overlap edge of cookie sheet. Press overlapping dough to flatten. Spread cream cheese spread on dough to within 1 inch of points. In small bowl, mix crumbled bacon, broccoli and bell pepper; spoon onto widest part of dough. Pull end points of triangles over broccoli mixture and tuck under dough to form ring (filling will be visible). Carefully brush dough with beaten egg; sprinkle with sesame seed. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until deep golden brown. Cool 5 minutes. With broad spatula, carefully loosen wreath from cookie sheet; slide onto serving platter. Serve warm. Store in refrigerator.
Blessing of the Advent Wreath
Begin with the sign of the cross.
Leader: Our help is in the name of the Lord
All: Who made heaven and earth.
[A reader proclaims Isaiah 9:1-2, 5-6.]
Reader: The Word of the Lord.
All: Thanks be to God.
Leader: This wreath reminds us of God’s promise and his never-ending love. What should we pray for tonight?
[Family members share intentions.]
Leader: We lift all of these intentions and those in our hearts up to you as we pray the prayer You taught us. Our Father…
Leader: Let us ask for God’s blessing.
Lord our God,
we praise you for your Son, Jesus Christ:
he is Emmanuel, the hope of the peoples,
he is the wisdom that teaches and guides us,
he is the Savior of every nation.
let your blessing come upon us
as we light the candles of this wreath.
May the wreath and its light
be a sign of Christ’s promise to bring us salvation.
May he come quickly and not delay.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
You can include a verse of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, if desired.
(Adapted from Catholic Household Blessings & Prayers.)
Today is the first Sunday of Advent. What changes do you notice in the décor of the church?
Decide as a family a way that your family can volunteer your time in service to others during the season of Advent.
Advent means “coming” or “arrival” in Latin. We are preparing for the coming of Jesus into our hearts and into the world.