THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT
FIRST READING: ISAIAH 40:1-11
Comment: “God’s coming to the exiles”
The first reading is a message of comfort and new hope to God’s people. The time of exile in Babylon is coming to an end. A new way is made through the desert, and the mighty Lord comes, bringing peace and pardon to Jerusalem. Though all human power fail, the Lord’s word will stand. Like a shepherd, God will care for the people.
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
The psalm both celebrates and prays for the Lord’s gracious favour, for God’s forgiveness, deliverance, and justice.
Second Lesson: (The Epistle) 2 Peter 3:8 – 15A
Comment: “Waiting for the day of God”
This lesson is a reminder that the divine perspective on time can be very different from that of human beings. Many wonder why the Lord seems so slow to fulfil the promises of salvation and judgment. God, however, is patient and has divine purposes. Still, the day of the Lord will come suddenly, bringing a new heaven and earth. Christians must live both in patience and with a zeal for righteousness and peace in readiness for that judgement.
THE HOLY GOSPEL: Mark 1:1-8
Comment: “John appears from the wilderness”
The Gospel of Mark begins with the ministry of John the Baptist. He is the messenger spoken of in the scriptures, the voice that cries aloud in the wilderness. He is sent to prepare the way of the Lord through his call for repentance and baptism in water for the forgiveness of sins. The people flock to him, but he tells of a mightier one still to come who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.