December 05, 2021
At the beginning of Mass a person or family comes down the center aisle to light the Advent candle. We sing a beautiful refrain: “Lead us to your light, lead us out of darkness. Lead us to your light. Come, Jesus, come.” During the Liturgy of the Word, Sacred Scripture becomes a light “to prepare the way of the Lord.” Today, the Second Sunday of Advent, our Word light bearers are Baruch, St. Paul, and John the Baptist.
Baruch was the secretary of Jeremiah. He witnessed the destruction of Jerusalem and the deportation of the habitants to exile in Babylon. The name “Baruch” is given to a collection of prayers, poems and prophetic oracles composed over time by a different authors inspired by the Jewish prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah. In our First Reading (Book of the Prophet Baruch), the author personifies the city of Jerusalem as a grieving woman and encourages her “to take off your robe of mourning and misery, put on the splendor of God’s glory and wrap yourself in the cloak of God’s justice.” Baruch lights the candle of hope: “for God is leading Israel in joy by the light of his glory, with his mercy and justice for company.” Today, we pray God’s blessing on the Jewish Community on these last two days of the eight-day Festival of Light, Hanukkah.
Our Second Reading is the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians that he composed and sent from prison. It expresses his affection for the faith community he founded at Philippi. “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.” St. Paul lights the candle of friendship, of partners in ministry, of joy and of confidence. Paul has confidence their “love may increase ever more.”
John the Baptist makes his appearance in the Gospel according to St. Luke. John is going throughout the whole region of the Jordan “proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” “Repentance means a “change in mind” or “transformation.” Like Isaiah, John the Baptist is beseeching his Jewish listeners to recall their exodus from slavery in Egypt and to renew their covenant faith in God’s mercy to welcome the anointed one God promised to send. Please join us on Thursday December 9th for our Advent Penance Service beginning at 6:30 PM with confessions until 8:30 PM. Together, we will celebrate God’s mercy, confess our sins, express our sorrow, and experience God’s precious gift of peace, the forgiveness of Jesus Christ.
Two candles are lit in our Advent Wreath. We pray: ““Lead us to your light, lead us out of darkness. Lead us to your light. Come, Jesus, come.”
First Sunday of Advent
Third Sunday of Advent