This reflection and discussion helps youth understand what it means to be ready for Jesus. How are we preparing?
Give everyone a pencil and paper. Ask them to write down their answer to this question:
- You are throwing a party. You are inviting all of your best friends. What are some of the things you will do to prepare?
Give them a few minutes to write down their answers. Then spend a little time sharing them.
Now follow up with this discussion question:
- It is 15 minutes before the party is to start. You are ready. What are you doing?
- The doorbell rings. Your guests are starting to arrive. How do you feel? Are you excited, nervous, something else? Why?
When we have somebody we care about coming to visit, we take some time to get ready. Well, guess what? We are starting Advent, which is a season of hopeful waiting. We are preparing to welcome Jesus into our world.
Read Mark 13:33-37:
Jesus said to his disciples: “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come.
It is like a man traveling abroad. He leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his own work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.
Watch, therefore; you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning. May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’”Mark 13:33-37
When we throw a party, we get everything ready for our guests. Then we wait for them to arrive. In the same way, we should be preparing our hearts for Jesus.
- What are some things we can do during Advent to make ourselves ready for the coming of Jesus?
- How can prayer help us prepare?
- What are some specific things we can do to improve our prayer lives in the next few weeks?
- How can acts of service and charity help us prepare?
- Can you name some things you can do to help others before Christmas?
One thing we can do is take part in the sacrament of reconciliation. We have this wonderful gift of grace. When we are about to have guests come to visit, we clean our houses. In a similar way, confessing our sins and receiving absolution cleans our hearts and makes us ready to welcome Jesus into our world.
If possible, have a reconciliation service. If not, encourage the youth to go to confession some time before Christmas.