Click here to view this full article on CatholicMom.com, featuring an interview with David Sheppe on the restoration of the gorgeous Saint Germain des Pres parish in Paris, France.
*This is a Divine Mercy themed Advent series created especially for toddlers. If you’re eager to share the joy of this season with your littlest ones, keep on reading!
A Note to Parents
Welcome! This series is designed to help you talk to your littlest ones about this exciting season of Advent, to help you instill within their little hearts a sense of wonder and reverence. As you know, toddlers like to wiggle and play, so use this as a tool to start conversation, but it’s okay if you don’t get through each reflection.
You might create a special environment for this time by:
- reading this together at a meal
- lighting your Advent wreath
- going outside together
- serving a special snack or drink
Most importantly, take a moment to look into your child’s eyes, and enjoy with them the beauty of this Advent season.
May God richly bless you and your family as we await in joyful hope together for the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ!
Day 1 – Sunday December 2nd
Daily Mass Readings
First Reading – Jeremiah 33:14-16
Second Reading – I Thessalonians 3:12-4:2
Gospel Reading – Luke 21:25-28, 34-36
Listen to audio recording here:
Some days are really busy. We wake up, eat our oatmeal really fast, put on our shoes as quickly as we can, and rush out the door to wherever Mommy and Daddy need to take us that day! Do we have days like that sometimes? Yes. Some days are quieter. We wake up slowly, look around the room, look out the window, walk down the hall to the smell of someone making bacon and eggs, and we sit around the table and wait for a big breakfast together as a family. The season of Advent is a little bit like those nice, quiet mornings. It’s a time of the year when our families slow down, and we quietly wait together for baby Jesus to arrive.
This is a little series of stories for you to share with your family together in this special season of Advent. It is called “Watching the Horizon.” If you look outside, the horizon is that spot right where the land touches the sky. (Point outside or go outside together to show your little one what that looks like if they are unsure. See if they have any questions for you about this new word.)
Now, on what day do we celebrate Jesus’s birthday, when Jesus came into the world as a little baby? Yes, that’s right, on Christmas! And after Jesus came into the world as a little baby, he grew up into a man. Then he died on the cross so he could open the gates of Heaven for us! Wasn’t that nice of Him? If Jesus hadn’t died on the cross for us, we wouldn’t be able to be in Heaven with him forever. I want to go to Heaven, do you? Yes, so we are so grateful to Jesus for this gift!
Do you remember what happened to Jesus after he died? He rose from the dead. In the rosary, this is the mystery of the Resurrection, right? Yes. And then where did Jesus go after the Resurrection? He went up to the sky! He went up to Heaven! That’s the mystery of the Ascension. That means that Jesus went up into the sky to be with his Father in Heaven! (Point and look up into the sky together. This is a big mystery. Answer any big questions they may have.)
The exciting thing is, Jesus is coming back a second time! When do you think that will be? We don’t really know. The Gospel reading today talks about how Jesus will be coming back “in a cloud with power and great glory.” Jesus is coming back again, and we are waiting for him now! So, while our Church is waiting to celebrate Jesus coming into the world as a baby on Christmas, we are also waiting for Jesus to come back into the world a second time. We don’t know when this will happen, so we have to be ready! We have to be watching the horizon together. He could come back at any time! Isn’t that exciting?
Let’s keep talking together about this to prepare and get ready for Christmas this year, okay? What a lovely gift that will be for baby Jesus – to prepare our hearts for His Second Coming!
- What would you do if you looked up into the sky and saw Jesus coming “in a cloud with power and great glory”? The Gospel tells us this will really happen!
- What is the horizon? Why should we be watching the horizon together?
- In Advent, the Church is preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus. But we also are waiting because we know that Jesus could come back at any time. Do you think He will come today?
Sing this verse together, and then if possible have the father trace a cross on each child’s head with holy water. This would be a great time to light your Advent candles if you have not done so already.
O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel