As part of morning prayer, every morning the Canticle of Zechariah is prayed. Every evening the Canticle of Mary, also known as the Magnificat, is prayed. Although these canticles have special applications throughout the yeat, they have special significance to Advent.
Form the Canticle of Zechariah:
"You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord and prepare his way, to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins." (Like 1:76-77)
Advent is a twofold preparation. We prepare to celebrate the nativity of Jesus as we revisit account told in the Gospels and experience the anticiption of the event as expressed by the prophets. We also prepare for His second coming, as we wait in joyful hope for in hope for his glorious arrival.
The words above were spoken by Zechariah over his newborn son, who as we know, grew up to be John the Baptist. Just as John prepared the way for Jesus to minister His Word to the people of Israel, we must prepare the way for Him to come again. We have the responsibility of keeping the faith alive from one generation to the next. Our children have the right to be taught the faith lovingly, yet thoroughly.
We must prepare our children to preserve the faith for themselves and their progeny. We, as parents, grandparents, godparents, are called to teach "the knowledge of slavation" in such a way that our children learn not only the facts of doctrine, but , more importantly, the divine wisdom of how to know, love, and serve God, so that they grow in faith, hope and charity. We should teach doctrine to our little ones "by the book", we must teach virtue by example.
"Prepare ye the way of the Lord" cried John.
God Bless us, everyone!