Saturday, December 05, 2015
2nd SUNDAY OF ADVENT
December 6, 2015 - 2nd SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Cycle C, Violet
Bar 5:1 – 9 / Phil 1:4 – 6, 8 – 11 / Lk 3:1 – 6
First Reading: Bar 5:1 – 9
Jerusalem, put off your garment of mourning and unhappiness, put on the splendor and glory of God forever.
Wrap yourself in the mantle of holiness that comes from God, put on your head the crown of glory of the Eternal One.
For God will show your splendor to every being under Heaven.
He will call your name forever, "Peace in Justice" and "Glory in the Fear of the Lord."
Rise up, Jerusalem, stand on the heights. Look towards the East and see your children gathered together from the setting of the sun to its rising, by the voice of the Holy One, rejoicing because God has remembered them.
They left you on foot, taken away by the enemy. God will lead them back, carried gloriously like royal princes.
For God has resolved to bring low every high mountain and the everlasting hills, to fill up the valleys and level out the ground, in order that Israel may walk in safety under the Glory of God.
Even the forests and the fragrant trees will give shade to Israel at God's command. For God will lead Israel with joy by the light of his Glory, escorting them with his mercy and justice.
Second Reading: Phil 1:4 – 6, 8 – 11
And when I pray for you, I pray with joy. I cannot forget all you shared with me in the service of the Gospel, from the first day until now. Since God began such a good work in you, I am certain that he will complete it in the day of Christ Jesus.
God knows that I love you dearly with the love of Christ Jesus, and in my prayers I ask that your love may lead you each day to a deeper knowledge and clearer discernment, that you may have good criteria for everything. So you may be pure of heart and come blameless to the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of holiness that comes through Christ Jesus, for the glory and praise of God.
Gospel: Lk 3:1 - 6
It was the fifteenth year of the rule of Emperor Tiberius; Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea; Herod ruled over Galilee; his brother Philip ruled over the country of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias over Abilene. Annas and Caiaphas were the High Priests at that time when the word of God came to John, the son of Zechariah in the desert.
John proclaimed a baptism for repentant people to obtain forgiveness of sins and he went through the whole country bordering the Jordan River. It was just as is written in the book of the prophet Isaiah: Listen to this voice crying out in the desert: prepare the way of the Lord, make his path straight. The valleys will be filled and the mountains and hills made low. Everything crooked will be made straight and the rough paths smooth; and every mortal will see the salvation of God.
"A voice crying out in the desert" is how the prophet Isaiah spoke of the person and work of the Precursor John the Baptist. John the Baptist preached; he prophesied; he chastised and castigated wrong-doers. Like all other prophets, he seemed to be crying out in a desert, in a huge seemingly empty space.
To the crowds who came to see and hear him, he spoke bluntly, "You brood of vipers! How will you escape when divine punishment comes? Produce now the fruits of a true change of heart, and do not deceive yourselves by saying, 'Abraham is our ancestor.' For I tell you, God can make children of Abraham from these stones. The axe is already laid to the root of the tree and every tree that fails to produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire." (Lk 3:7 -8)
John the Baptist baptized with water signifying penance and repentance; he prophesied the coming of a greater One who will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. "John announced the Good News to the people until Herod had put him in prison. For John reproached Herod for living with Herodias, his brother's wife, and for his evil deeds. Then Herod added another crime to all the rest he had committed: he put John in prison." (Lk 3:18b – 20)
Prophets may not be easy to live with, then and now. John ate differently and dressed quite exotically and simply: "John had a leather garment around his waist and wore a cloak of camel's hair; his food was locusts and wild honey." (Mt 3:4) And he resolutely refused to be silenced in what he felt was God's task for him, even against the ruling king.
When we meet John the Baptist or any true prophet in our life, we should remember one thing: we should listen no matter what we see; even if we may not like the messenger. We should listen to a prophet's message: it is relevant and is for us.
It is not easy to be a prophet, then and now. If somehow we have been tasked to bring a message, to spread the word that will save people profoundly, we have the obligation to complete the task. This obligation is not only because we wish to be faithful to God who gives the task but also to be faithful to our own selves. We complete ourselves when we complete our assigned task, when we obey God's holy will.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
NICOLO DY SY & ADRIAN DY TAN
IN MEMORIAM (+)
MIGUEL YMAZ (AUG 12, 1943 – DEC 6, 2010)
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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