2nd Sunday of Advent
IR Is 40:1-5,9-11,
Res Ps 85:9-10. 11-12.1 13-14,
II R 2 Pet3: 8-14,
Go Mk 1:1-8
The season of advent is a time of LISTENING and PREPARING ourselves spiritually, in welcoming the Son of God - Jesus Christ into our lives who is proclaimed by the messengers of God. “His help is near for those who revere him” (Ps.85:10). Therefore, it is right that we listen to his voice.The Second Sunday of Advent focuses our attention on the readings from Prophet Isaiah.40:1-5, 9-11, Letter of St Peter 3:8-14 and Gospel of Mark 1:1-8. The three readings speak to us about three preparations we need to make: Prepare to be led by God; Prepare to believe in his Promises and Prepare to be renewed by the Holy Spirit.
PREPARE: TO BE LED BY GOD
The Prophet Isaiah wants God’s chosen people to feel comfortable with God who has desired to forgive, as they have already been sufficiently punished by God for their sinfulness. God is inviting them to be led by him, to straighten their life of crookedness, stubbornness and rudeness. “Be comforted my people be strengthened.” (Is. 40:1). Be ready to meet God.
To be led by God is to experience his Glory, to experience his mighty protection, to experience his providence, to experience his tender loving closeness and guidance. To be led by God is to experience his comfort of salvation.
PREPARE: TO BELIEVE IN HIS PROMISES
St. Peter writing to the Christians, reminds them that the years God has given the world, are an opportunity for them to be renewed. Every day is a gift of mercy, a grace to render some service to our fellow-beings, to take one step nearer to God. “He gives you time, because he does not want anyone to perish.” (2Pet.3:9) God does not wish anyone to perish. “Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, and not rather that he should return from his way and live” (Eze. 18:23). God wants his chosen people to prepare to believe in his promises, to experience the new heaven and new earth, to those who become rooted in peace, without fault.” Strive that God may find you rooted in peace, without fault” (2Pet. 3:14)
PREPARE: TO BE RENEWED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT
Nine revolutionaries were put on a deserted Island. On that Island lived six native men, ten native women, and a girl of 15 years of age. One of these revolutionaries succeeded in making crude alcohol. On account of it, eight of them died and only one survived. The one who survived chanced upon a Bible. He read it and made up his mind, to build up the natives of the Island, based directly on the Bible. Almost twenty years later, a passing Ship halted at the Island. They found there a completely Christian community, with no jail, no hospital, no asylum, no illiteracy. Christianity had cleansed that island.
The Gospel of Mark presents before us the beginnings of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, whom, John the Baptizer introduced to his followers, “after me comes one who is more powerful than I am; I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you in the Holy spirit.”(Mk1:8).
The ministry of John the Baptizer was mightily effective, because he lived his message. He pointed to his converts, to something and someone beyond himself, who could cleanse their life, their self and their heart. John the Baptizer, tried to connect men with the one who was greater and stronger than he. He pointed to the one whom all men need.
The Season of Advent is a time of being renewed in the spirit of Holiness. Where Christ is allowed to come, the antiseptic of the Christian faith cleanses the moral poison of society and leaves it pure and clean. Our Christian faith invites us to look at Mary who prepared herself to be led by God, who believed in his promises and embraced Holiness, only to welcome the Son of God in her being. “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, for he has done wonderful things for me, and Holy is his name.” Let us invoke Mary, to assist us in our journey of Advent.
Fr. Anthony Pereira SMM