Second Week of Advent

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Second Week of Advent

 The Second Sunday of Advent

We re-light the candle of hope and now also light the Second Purple candle of love. We know that God is love. We remember with thankful hearts the gift of Jesus, who came as a babe in a manger, lived and loved among us, was killed on a cross, and arose! Love endures forever. 

Advent 2 Sunday

As this second week of Advent we must think of Mary and her anticipation as she awaited the birth of Our Lord and Savior. In a similar manner we should be anticipating and preparing the way of the Lord. We hear John the Baptist calling us to prepare our hearts to greet the Lord. 

We read from the beginning of the gospel of Mark: Mark: 1:1-8 
Here begins the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. In Isaiah the prophet , it is written: "I send my messenger before 
you to prepare your way: a herald's voice in the desert, crying, "Make ready the way of the Lord, clear his a straight path." 
Thus it was that John the Baptizer appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance which led to the forgiveness of sins. All the Judean countryside and the people of Jerusalem 
went out to him in great numbers. They were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins. John was clothed in camel's hair, and wore a leather belt around his waist. His food was grasshoppers and wild honey. The theme of his preaching was: "one more powerful than I is to come after me. I am not fit to stoop and untie his sandal straps. I have baptized you in water; he will baptize you in the Holy Spirit."

Ps. 85 I will hear what God proclaims; the Lord -- for he proclaims peace to his people. Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him, glory dwelling in our land. Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation. 

Carol: "O Come, All Ye Faithful."

Advent 2 Monday

Mary, the Mother of Jesus

Dear Faithful God, you gave Mary, Jesus' mother a special gift: salvation from the first moments of her life. Help us to be like her and do whatever You ask of us in our lives.

ary listened to what God asked and then did what He requested of her.

Luke 1:26-38 In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name
was Mary. The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly  favored! The Lord is with you." Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.
You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"
The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will
overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God."
"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left
her. 
Mary was willing to do whatever God wanted of her. She is a good example for us to follow. Who are some of the other good examples in our lives? May we always Thank God for being there to help us along our way in this life.


Psa 96:1 Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth.

Advent 2 Tuesday

GIVE YOUR BURDENS TO THE LORD

Lord God, You sent us your only Son, Jesus so that we might have life in the fullest. Help us to follow the invitation to follow Him. 
Jesus invited us to bring all of our troubles to Him.

Mat 11:28-30 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."


Sometimes even getting ready for the wonderful celebration of  Christmas can become a burden;
there seems to be too much to do, we can't find the perfect gift, plans change and get more complicated. 
Jesus reminds us today that we don't have to make Christmas the perfect celebration, all we have to do is welcome him into our hearts. How are we going to welcome the Lord today? 

Psa 103:8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

HOPE IN THE LORD

We encounter an insistent invitation to the virtue of Hope. Our hearts shall be filled with joy at the coming of our Lard to save all the nations of the world. According to St. Paul, all the sacred writers were inspired by our Lord to encourage the virtue 
of Hope.

Isa. 30, 30 People of Sion, behold the Lord shall come to save the nations; and the Lord shall make the glory of His voice to be heard, in the joy of your heart.

Rom 15: 4-13 Whatever things have been written have been written for our instruction, that through the patience and the consolation afforded by the Scriptures we may have hope. May then the god of patience and of comfort grant you to be of one 
mind towards one another according to Jesus Christ; that, one in 
spirit, you may with one mouth glorify the God and Father of our 
Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive one another, even as Christ has received you to the honor of god. For I say that christ Jesus has been a minister of the circumcision in order to show 
God's fidelity in confirming the promises made to our fathers, but that the Gentiles glorify God because of His mercy, as it is written, "Therefore will I praise Thee among the Gentile, and will sing to Thy name." And again He says, " Rejoice, you Gentiles, with His people.: And again, "Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles; and sing His praises, all you peoples." And again Isaiah says, "There shall be the root of Jesse, and He Who shall arise to rule the Gentiles.; in Him the Gentiles shall hope." Now may the God of hope fill you all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope and in the power of the Holy Spirit.


Ps. Give ear, O You Who rules Israel: You Who leads Joseph like a sheep.

Advent 2 Wednesday

GIVE YOUR BURDENS TO THE LORD

Lord God, You sent us your only Son, Jesus so that we might have life in the fullest. Help us to follow the invitation to follow Him.

Jesus invited us to bring all of our troubles to Him.

Mat 11:28-30 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest foryour souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Sometimes even getting ready for the wonderful celebration of Christmas can become a burden;
there seems to be too much to do, we can't find the perfect gift, plans change and get more complicated. 
Jesus reminds us today that we don't have to make Christmas the perfect celebration, all we have to do is welcome him into our hearts. How are we going to welcome the Lord today? 

Psa 103:8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

Advent 2 Thursday

Consolation

The following reading from Isaiah is to a large extent one of consolation. It reflects a tone of mercy . Sometimes we think of the coming of the Lord and the final judgment as a negative prospect. There is hope for those who follow the Lord and look for his coming with longing, for his coming will establish justice and liberate the oppressed. 
This is the message of today's passage, which ws written during the Babylonian exile. the Jewish nation had been destroyed and the people had been taken as slaves to Babylon. It is a word of hope addressed not to the city of Jerusalem but to its people in a time of great distress. 

Isaiah 40: 1-5 

Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated;
Indeed, she has received from the hand of the Lord double for all her sins.
A voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the Lord! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low;
The rugged land shall be made a plain, the rough country, a broad valley. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all mankind shall see it together; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
Go up onto a high mountain, Zion, herald of glad tiding; Cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, herald of good news!
Fear not to cry out and say to the cities of Judah' Here is your God! Here comes with power the Lord God,who rules by his strong arm; Here is his reward with him,his recompense before him.
Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, Carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care.

Ps. 145:9 The Lord is good to all, compassionate to every creature.

Advent 2 Friday

WATCHFUL WAITING

This reading expresses on of the basic themes of advent, waiting for the Lord. Paul responds to the objections of those who said that the delay in Christ's return proved that he was not coming at all. They lived in sinful ways and did not anticipate the day of judgment. Paul reminds us that our view of time is different form that of God. He suggests that the Lord's delay is deliberate and is intended to give people time to 
repent and prepare for his coming. The Lord will come when we least expect it.

2 Peter 3:8-14

This point must not be overlooked, dear friends.
In the Lord's eyes, one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years are as a day.
The Lord does not delay in keeping his promise -- though some consider it "delay". Rather, he shows you generous patience, since he wants none to perish but all to come to repentance.
The day of the Lord will come like a thief, and on that day the heavens will vanish with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and all its deeds will be made manifest. Since everything is to be destroyed in this way, what sort of men must you not be! How holy in your conduct and devotion, looking for the coming of the day of God and trying to hasten it! Because of it, the heavens will be destroyed in flames and the elements will melt away in a blaze. 
What we await are new heavens and a new earth where, according to his promise, the justice of God will reside. So, beloved, while waiting for this, make every effort to be found without stain or defilement, and at peace in his sight.

Ps. 119:1 Happy those whose way is blameless, who walk by the teaching of the Lord.

Advent 2 Saturday

Be Prepared

Luke is restating what we have read in Paul, that we must be prepared for the coming of the Lord for we know not the hour or the day. He also tells us that we should not fear the Lord, but rather be joyful in the coming of the Lord.

Luke 21:25-33

21:25 "There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves.
21:26 People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers 
of the heavens will be shaken.
21:27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
21:28 But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your 
redemption is at hand."
21:29 He taught them a lesson. "Consider the fig tree and all the other trees.
21:30 When their buds burst open, you see for yourselves and know that summer is now 
near;
21:31 in the same way, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God 
is near.
21:32 Amen, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken 
place.
21:33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Ps. 80:1 For the leader; according to "Lilies." Eduth. A psalm of Asaph.

This day is also the feast of St. John of the Cross, a Spanish mystic of the 16th Century. John is known for his devotion to the cross and his teaching about the "dark night of the soul." John exhorts us to be faithful in prayer, even when we don't feel God's presence. Reflect on your own experiences and remember that Christ's light is shining even when we do not see it.
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