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Second Sunday in Advent

December 5, 2019

Second Sunday of Advent

December 8

Isaiah 11:1-10

Psalm 72

Romans 15:4-9

Matthew 3:1-12

The readings that we hear today are quite similar to those of last week.  The readings focus on two key Advent themes; the call to prepare ourselves, first through conversion, and second the call to wait in hope for a kingdom of peace.

In Matthew’s Gospel John the Baptist announces a message of repentance, “For the Kingdom of God is close at hand.”  John echoes the prophet Isaiah from our first reading, Prepare the way of the Lord, and make straight His paths.”  This IS the real meaning of Advent, preparing ourselves for the Savior who comes to bring the gift of peace for the world.  The preparation John is calling for is our call to conversion; to change so that we will be ready to welcome the Kingdom of peace in our hearts at Christmas.

Our second theme today is found in both our first and second readings.  It is waiting in hope and trust for a kingdom of peace.

Isaiah tells us that, “A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom.”  Jesse was a key figure in the Old Testament.  He was the father of King David and the grandfather of King Solomon.  This image of a shoot sprouting from a tree stump speaks of the coming of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Isaiah believes that in the future there will arise a kingdom of peace ruled by this descendant of Jesse. 

The theme of waiting in home and trust for a kingdom of peace is in Paul’s letter to the Romans as he reminds us that our God is a God of endurance and encouragement.  That Jesus welcomes both Jews and Gentiles in peace and for the Glory of God.

So, the message this Sunday can be summed up in three short points:

  • That all of our readings reflect the meaning behind the lighting of the Second Advent candle – to signify our need for repentance and calling for reform in our lives.
  • That we are called to be reconciled with God and one another in order to live in peace and harmony, and
  • That reconciliation and the acceptance of God’s mercy will lead us to the kingdom of peace we all await when Christ comes.

Sisters and brothers, we are all waiting for the birth of Jesus but we must remember the birth of what He means in our lives can bloom and flourish every day throughout the year.  It takes work and mindfulness to show that spirit of wisdom and understanding, but the God of endurance and encouragement will work with us.  Our time of hope can be a time of making straight the paths of our own hearts and to the Sacred heart of Jesus. 

Question of the Day:  Are you willing to keep the season of Advent alive in your hearts throughout the year?

Prayer:  Holy Spirit of God, eliminate all darkness from my heart.  Sanctify my thoughts, words, and actions, so that I may become a child of the light.

Prosit

Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

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