December 7, 2014

2nd Sun. of Advent

December 7, 2014:  2nd Sunday of Advent

  • 'Sheep' tie bar:  Like a shepherd he'll feed his flock (1st reading)
  • 'Peace sign' tie bar:  The Lord proclaims peace (psalm)
  • 'Clock' tie bar:  With the Lord one day is like 1,000 years (2nd reading)
  • 'Honey' tie:  John the Baptist fed on locusts and wild honey;... (gospel)
  • Blue shirt:  ...People came to him to be baptized (gospel)
  • Sandals:  "I'm not worthy to loosen his sandals" (gospel)
  • Purple in suspenders:  Advent season


From Handel's Messiah (1st reading)
For 1st reading and/or gospel
For psalm
The 1st reading is about a time of liberation, salvation, and looking ahead with confidence.  Isaiah refers to people who went through a dark period, but the time for comfort has come.  Sadness and fear give way to joy, because the Lord leads us on the path of liberation and salvation.  We need to experience God's comfort and love to be messengers of his comfort.  Isaiah's message is a balm, and an incentive to prepare the way of the Lord.
Many situations require our comforting witness:  to those oppressed by suffering, injustice, those who are slaves to money, power, success, and worldliness.  We're called to testify that only God can eliminate the causes of existential and spiritual dramas.  God forgets our sins and comforts us if we entrust ourselves to God with humility and repentance. God will bring down the walls of evil, fill the holes of our omissions, flatten the bumps of pride and vanity, and pave the way for our meeting with him.
  • Is 40:1-5, 9-11  Comfort my people; proclaim that her service is at an end and her guilt expiated.  "Prepare the way of the Lord!  His glory shall be revealed."  Cry, "Here is your God, coming and ruling with power.  He feeds and leads his flock like a shepherd."
    Justice and Peace Kiss/ Martinengo
  • Ps 85:9-14  "Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation."  Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss.  The Lord will give his benefits.  Justice shall prepare his way.
  • 2 Pt 3:8-14  With the Lord one day is like a thousand years.  The Lord doesn't delay but is patient with you, wishing you to repent; his day will come like a thief.  Conduct yourselves in holiness and devotion, waiting for and hastening its coming,  We await new heavens and new earth; be eager to be found spotless and at peace.
  • Mk 1:1-8  Isaiah wrote, "I'm sending my messenger to prepare your way, one crying, 'Prepare the way of the Lord.'"  John the Baptist proclaimed a baptism of repentance.  People went to him, acknowledged their sins, and were baptized.  He proclaimed:  “One mightier than I is coming; I'm not worthy to loosen his sandals.  I baptize with water; he'll baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
    • Creighton:  It's always time to prepare for Jesus' coming:  How can I straighten the paths in my life, roads leading to selfishness and self-absorption?  John reminds us it’s time to do the work of repentance.
    • One Bread One Body:  The Lord doesn't want to give us superficial, temporary comfort but to baptize in the Spirit, the Comforter, who convicts us of sin and can lead us to repentance, forgiveness, and freedom.  Come, Holy Spirit of Christmas and comfort!
    • Passionist:  Isaiah's promises can be fulfilled when I realize it's not God's job to make the world and my life according to my wishes, but it's my job to tune in to God's plans, baptized not only in water and word but also deed.  Give me eyes to see and ears to hear Your plan and the courage to say Amen today.
    •  John the Baptist's passion was to point others to Jesus and his kingdom.  He was filled with the Spirit from the womb and led by the Spirit into the wilderness prior to his ministry; his clothing like the prophet Elijah's.  Breaking the prophetic silence, he spoke God's word to Israel, awakening repentance.  He was the voice of the Consoler to come.  Am I eager to hear God's word and to be changed by it?
    As John's baptism was for repentance, ours in Christ yields new birth and entry into God's kingdom as his children.  God's word can transform us into lights pointing others to Christ. Like John, we're called to testify to the light and truth of Christ.  Do I point others to Christ through how I live?

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