Saturday, December 08, 2007
2nd Sunday of Advent
2nd Sunday of Advent - A
On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from
his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon
him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and
of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, and his
delight shall be the fear of the LORD. Not by appearance shall he
judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide, but he shall judge the poor
with justice, and decide right for the land's afflicted. He shall
strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of
his lips he shall slay the wicked. Justice shall be the band around
his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips. Then the wolf shall
be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid;
the calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child
to guide them. The cow and the bear shall be neighbors, together their
young shall rest; the lion shall eat hay like the ox. The baby shall
play by the cobra's den, and the child lay his hand on the adder's
lair. There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the
earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the
sea. On that day, the root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the
nations, the Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be
Brothers and sisters: Whatever was writ-ten previously was written for
our instruction, that by endurance and by the encouragement of the
Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and
encouragement grant you to think in harmony with one another, in
keeping with Christ Jesus, that with one accord you may with one voice
glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Welcome one
another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God. For I say
that Christ became a minister of the circumcised to show God's
truthfulness, to confirm the promises to the patriarchs, but so that
the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written:
Therefore, I will praise you among the Gentiles and sing praises to
John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and
saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" It was of him
that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: A voice of one crying
out in the desert, Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his
paths. John wore clothing made of camel's hair and had a leather belt
around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. At that time
Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were
going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as
they acknowledged their sins. When he saw many of the Pharisees and
Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "You brood of
vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good
fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to
yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you, God can
raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Even now the ax lies
at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good
fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I am baptizing you
with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is
mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize
you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand.
He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn,
but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."
Advent is a time of waiting - waiting for Christ. Advent is also a
season of preparing for his coming. The liturgy of the Season offers
us three persons as our Advent guides: the prophet Isaiah, Mary of
Nazareth, and John the Baptist. The prophet Isaiah shows us God
preparing his exiled people, through suffering, to be a people of
hope, waiting in hope for a God who will come to rescue them in his
own good time. Mary waits uniquely in a most intimate way, because the
Promised One, the one for whom she is waiting, is resting within her,
growing from her.
And there is John the Baptist, whose father, Zechariah, prophesied
soon after John's birth: "And you, child, will be called the prophet
of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his
John comes to us clothed in "a garment of camel's hair and a leather
girdle", eating locusts. His message? "Repent!" In Greek, "metanoia"
meaning "change your mind," "change your thinking," "turn around,"
"return," "be converted." John is telling his fellow Jews to reform
their lives, to return to the way of life demanded by the covenant
between God and Israel, to be faithful to the promise of their fathers
in Exodus chap. 24: "All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we
will be obedient," to be faithful to the "new covenant" described in
Jeremiah : "I will write [my law] upon their hearts; and I will be
their God, and they shall be my people."
Now the Baptist's command is just as urgent today as it was then. Just
look across the earth. Everywhere there is violence and war, killings
and crimes and corruption, exploitation of people and creation, people
seeking pleasure at the expense of other human beings. Closer to home,
we read of kidnappings and rapes and murders. And these evils are
perpetrated by both Christians and non-Christians.
Sin is a sacrilege, because it destroys the features of Christ in us,
betrays the new covenant, shows us faithless to a God who never ceases
to be faithful despite all our infidelities.
God's coming brings joy, and joy is a proof that God has come.
Nietzsche's criticism of Christians is that we do not look redeemed.
Many Christians think that to be holy is to be joyless. If something
is joyful it must be sinful. No, the promise of Christ "I will see you
again and your hearts will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from
you" is not restricted to the disciples who shared his last supper. He
pledges the same to you. He has come again; he is here; he does see
you. The question is, do you see him? Do you ever experience him?
Simply, do you know Christ? Not words about him, but Christ himself.
When he rests in your palm, on your tongue, do you sense his real
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
... for the strength, healing and speedy recovery of Epifania Ylaya
... for the personal intentions of Jesus L. Ventura
... for the eternal repose of the souls of
- Domingo Barayoga Sr. and Lourdes Barayoga
- Donald Wilson
Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them.
May they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Business Blessing: Anna Pashmina
- Birthday: Acero Ambrosio Tan Chew
- Prayer Intention: Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary -1996
- In Memoriam (+): Chua Chen
... for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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