THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT
First Reading: Baruch 5: 1-9
Comments: “The return of scattered Israel”
This reading offers a tender message of encouragement to Jerusalem, a vision of the gracious Lord bringing the people home from exile and leading them in glory. Although this prophecy is said to be written by Baruch, a friend of the prophet Jeremiah, it actually comes from a period nearer to New Testament times and is included in writings known as the Apocrypha. Its imagery of hope and joy is timeless, however, and points to God’s ultimate work of salvation. Canticle: Luke 1:68-79 (The Song of Zechariah) A song of thanksgiving and prophecy. The child will be called the prophet of the Most High and will make a way for the Lord.
Second Reading (The Epistle): Philippians 1:3-11
Comments: “A harvest of righteousness”
In this lesson, Paul greets the new disciples in the town of Philippi, gives thanks for their sharing in the gospel, and prays that they may be found without fault on the judgement day of Christ. It is likely that this message of affection and appreciative joy was written toward the latter part of Paul’s ministry, perhaps while he was in prison. He expresses great confidence that the work of grace begun by God in his converts will be brought to fruition.
The Holy Gospel: Luke 3:1-6
Comments: “Prepare the way of the Lord”
The Gospel of Luke sets the prophetic ministry of John the Baptist in the context of its time in history. It was customary during this era to date events with reference to the lives of rulers and well-known public figures. Within this history the word of God comes to John as he preaches his baptism of repentance. His ministry is in fulfilment of the words of Isaiah concerning the one who prepares the way of the Lord.