2nd Sunday of Advent
Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of Our Savior. He comes to be born anew by His grace and love in the hearts of all men, but alas, few recognize in Him their Divine Redeemer, or love Him as their God-made man. During this season let us give witness to how God reigns in our lives and in the world. Let us make this journey to Bethlehem with Mary, and ask her to show us more fully, “the fruit of her womb, Jesus!” As we hear the gospels reflect those tremendous moments of our salvation at each Sacrifice of the Mass, let us devote ourselves to bringing the joy of the Savior's birth to others, through our smiles, wishes of a “Merry Christmas” and those hidden acts of charity for the poor and unfortunate.
Second Week of Advent
Today’s Readings: Isaiah 40:1–5, 9–11; Psalm 85:9–10, 11–12, 13–14; 2 Peter 3:8–14; Mark 1:1–8. During this sec- ond week of Advent, we reflect on the future God has in store for us. When we delve more deeply into the Scriptures, it becomes clear that Advent is not as simple as we may think. Last week’s readings urged us to be watchful and to ready ourselves for Christ’s coming. This is not easy; it requires attention to God’s Word within us. This week’s message is in the same vein.
The prophet Isaiah paints a beautiful picture for the Israelites who are in captivity. Salvation will come, and the Lord will forgive all their sins. The image is radical. Isaiah depicts mountains being leveled and valleys being filled. He directs Zion to tell this Good News to the entire world. A similar theme is in the Gospel. John the Baptist is the herald of the coming Messiah. John calls all creation to repent and seek God’s forgiveness. He is the herald who paves the way for Jesus, the one who reveals the new heaven and earth, which Peter speaks of in the Second Reading.
What does it look like to prepare our hearts and minds for the coming of Christ? It takes a vulnerable and watchful heart. We can find ourselves held captive. When we seek God’s forgiveness with contrite hearts, we open ourselves to an amazing grace. God’s mercy is the wellspring of all heal- ing. So let us act out our salvation in the ways we live and announce the triumphant entry of the coming Christ.