Sunday, December 8, 2019

Second Sunday of Advent

Readings of the Day
RB: Ch 55:15-22
Mass: Is 11:1-10; Resp Ps 72; Rm 15:4-9; Mt 3:1-12

Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace forever.


Welcome to the Second Sunday of Advent! To keep us focused, we are given a friendly reminder by the folks at Magnificat of what we are about these days: "In this second week of Advent we continue to look forward to Christ's return at the end of time rather than backward toward Jesus' first coming in Bethlehem. In this second coming, he will appear as the world's true Master returning to his beloved home among us" (Prayer for the Evening, December 7, 2019).

Looking forward to Christ's return in glory then, we hear a voice crying out from the wilderness: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" (Mt 3:2). We are to "prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths" (Mt 3:2-3). Let's get busy!

We might ask ourselves how we are to repent and prepare the way for the world's true Master. First, we can turn to St Bernard of Clairvaux who says: "Enter the inner room of your heart. Put your ear to the door, strain to listen to the tidings God's messenger brings." What message do you hear? Or we might ask ourselves from today's Gospel passage: How are we going to produce good fruit as evidence of our repentance? (see Mt 3:8). St Paul tells us to think in harmony with one another (Rm 15:5). In previous verses not included in today's reading, St Paul writes that the "strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves" (Rm 15:1). He continues, "let each of us please our neighbor for the good, for building up" (Rm 15:2). Whatever we do to build up the Body of Christ in our families, work places, social settings, communities, or parishes can produce good fruit. Remember, we are producing good fruit for the Lord's return to His beloved home among us, when "the wolf shall be the guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid … when the baby shall play by the cobra's den, and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair (see Is 11:6-8).

What are you going to do this week to repent and prepare the way of the Lord?

The messianic promises are never vague. They always hold out the hope that the One who comes will fulfill the real dreams of the human heart for peace, healing, and plenty. What we pray for, we must also work for. Thus do we prepare his way.
(Magnificat, Prayer for the Evening, December 8, 2019)

© Gertrude Feick 2019

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