Second Sunday of Advent

2nd Sunday of Advent

“A voice of one crying out in the desert. ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.’”

09

DECEMBER 2018

BARUCH 5:1-9

Jerusalem, take off your robe of mourning and misery; put on the splendor of glory from God forever: wrapped in the cloak of justice from God, bear on your head the mitre that displays the glory of the eternal name.
For God will show all the earth your splendor: you will be named by God forever the peace of justice, the glory of God’s worship.

Up, Jerusalem! stand upon the heights; look to the east and see your children gathered from the east and the west at the word of the Holy One, rejoicing that they are remembered by God.

Led away on foot by their enemies they left you: but God will bring them back to you borne aloft in glory as on royal thrones. For God has commanded that every lofty mountain be made low, and that the age-old depths and gorges be filled to level ground, that Israel may advance secure in the glory of God.


The forests and every fragrant kind of tree have overshadowed Israel at God’s command; for God is leading Israel in joy by the light of his glory, with his mercy and justice for company.

R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing. 
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed. 
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those who sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing. 
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

PHILIPPIANS 1:4-6, 8-11

Brothers and sisters I pray always with joy in my every prayer for all of you, because of your partnership for the gospel from the first day until now. I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.

God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.And this is my prayer:that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception, to discern what is of value, so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ  for the glory and praise of God.

LUKE 3:1-6

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,  when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,  during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.

John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan,
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
Every valley shall be filled
and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The winding roads shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

Reflection:

Humility Prepares the Way for Christ

On this, the Second Sunday of Advent, we are given the person of St. John the Baptist to ponder. What a gift he is! Jesus Himself stated that “among those born of women there has been none greater than John the Baptist” (Matthew 11:11). What a compliment! What is it that made John so great? We can point to two things in particular. The first has to do with his calling and the second has to do with his virtue.

First of all, John was great because he was the transition from the Old Testament Prophets to the New Testament. He was the bridge that prepared for the new life to come. His unique mission makes him truly great. But John was great not only because of his unique calling, he was also great because of the virtue he had in his life. And it is this gift that is worth pondering for our own inspiration more than any other. The particular virtue that John had was that of humility. He saw himself as nothing other
than a “voice of one crying out in the desert.” And the Word he spoke was Jesus.

Reflect, today, upon this humility in your own life. Do you tend to point to yourself or to Christ? Do you seek the praise of others or do you humbly point all praise and glory to God?

John acknowledged that he was not even worthy to stoop down and untie the sandal straps of Jesus (Mark 1:7). He was praised by many and followed by many and yet he
continuously said of Jesus that “He must increase and I must decrease” (John 3:30). John was not in it for praise and honor; rather, his mission was to point everyone to the Savior of the world. He could have sought the honor and praise of many and he would have certainly received it. They may have even made him king. But John was more than willing to fulfill his mission and then submit himself to the cruel sword of his executioner. His humility was such that he was focused only on Jesus and desired only to point to Him.

Reflect, today, upon this humility in your own life. Do you tend to point to yourself or to Christ? Do you seek the praise of others or do you humbly point all praise and glory to God?

Humility is the path that St. John the Baptist took and it’s the path we must strive for each and every day.

Lord, thank You for the gift of St. John the Baptist. May his witness of humility inspire me in my Christian walk. Help me, Lord, to always point others to You rather than to myself. Jesus, I trust in You.

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