2nd Sunday of Advent (c)
This Week’s Liturgy Calendar.
The Season of Advent.
Sunday Year (c)
Weekday Year 2
Sunday 6th December: The 2nd Sunday of Advent. (c)
In today’s Liturgy, we hear the strident and persistent voice of John the Baptist urging us ‘to prepare the way of Lord.’
In the first reading, from the Prophet Baruch, Jerusalem is told to forget the sufferings of the past because God is going to bring back her exiled children to her.
In the second reading, from the Letter to the Philippians, Paul is urging his fellow Christians to prepare for the second coming of Christ by living pure and blameless lives.
In the Gospel passage, from St. Luke, John the Baptist urges the people to prepare a way for the Lord through repentance. It is a reminder also of the words used by Isaiah in Old Testament times when he too was calling the people to repent.
Monday 7th December: Memorial of St. Ambrose.
He was born of a Roman Christian family around 339 when his father was an official in Gaul. He moved back to Rome and became a lawyer and eventually a consul in the region of Milan. He was named bishop by popular acclamation even though he was still a catechumen. Eight days later he was baptised and, after receiving further instruction, was ordained a Bishop He frequently had to defend the rights and freedom of the Church sometimes even against the emperor. A favourite saying of his was that ‘the emperor is in the church, not over it.’ He was known as ‘an apostle of charity, a reformer of the liturgy a director of souls.’ He died on this date in 397.
Tuesday 8th December: Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.
Today’s feast celebrates the perfect holiness of Our Lady. It affirms the church’s belief and teaching that Our Lady, from the very moment of her conception, was preserved free from all stain of original sin. In this way, she was prepared for her unique role in the work of redemption. Pope Pius IX instituted the feast when he defined the dogman of the Immaculate Conception on 8th December 1854.
Wednesday 9th December: Wednesday of the 2nd Week of Advent
The people are beginning to feel that God has abandoned them in exile. Isaiah offers them hope that this is not the case. There will be a time of deliverance. He uses the sights and sounds of the sky to remind them that God created all this and he wishes to save them and give them new hope.
Like Isaiah, Jesus has an encouraging message for those who feel weighed down by the problems of life. Do not be frightened to turn to him for help, strength and courage.
Thursday 10th December: Thursday of the 2nd Week of Advent
Again, Isaiah is trying to encourage the people of Israel. He speaks of God, taking them by the hand and making them strong.
In the Gospel passages, we have been concentrating on John the Baptist’s anticipation of the saviour. Now he talks of the coming of the Messiah. Jesus talks that he it is who will fulfil many of the prophecies we have heard since the beginning of Advent.
Friday 11th December: Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent.
Faithfulness is to be another sign of the new kingdom of the Messiah but the people have been unfaithful to God and gone their own ways. Therefore, they must repent.
Jesus is sad because the people have not recognised and responded to John’s efforts. If they had, it would have been easier for them to respond to Jesus and his preaching.
Saturday 12th December: Saturday of the 2nd week of Advent.
We have a reference today to the Prophet Elijah. Some regarded John as Elijah come back again.
In the Gospel, Jesus compares John to Elijah – just as Elijah was not recognised neither would John be. Like Elijah and John, Jesus himself would suffer at the hands of the people
Leader of the house of Israel,
Who appeared to Moses
in the fire of the burning bush
And gave him the law on Sinai,
Come to redeem us
with an outstretched arm.
Shoot of Jesse,
Who stands as an ensign for the people,
Before whom kings shall shut their mouths,
Whom the gentiles shall seek after,
Come to deliver us.
Delay now no longer.