In Mark’s gospel Chapter 1 we meet John the Baptist whose role was to prepare a way for the arrival into the public sphere - the Son of God. John proclaimed a baptism of repentance and forgiveness of sins before proclaiming that ‘He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’ It is a message of hope of a new world. Today the message to live by the gospel still rings out across the valleys, deserts, oceans and mountains of the world. Here is your God. We prepare ourselves during this Advent season by finding the time and space to listen to the Spirit deep within.
The First Reading is from Isaiah 49:1-5, 9-11
The text is taken from the second book of the prophet Isaiah often called the Book of Consolation. Those familiar with Handel’s composition ‘Messiah’ will recognise the text in some of the opening sections.
Listen to the opening aria and oratorio HERE
You can locate the following vocal sections at 02:58 Comfort Ye and at 5:43 Ev’ry valley shall be exalted.
Response to the Psalm 85 (84)
‘Lord, let us see your kindness, and grant us your salvation.’
Lord let us see your kindness, from Psalms in his presence. Audio HERE
There is a different version of Psalm 85 (84) by Marty Haugen HERE
'Christmas is a day of great joy, even external, but above all, it is a religious event for which a spiritual preparation is necessary. In this season of Advent, let us be guided by the Baptist’s exhortation: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight!”, he tells us. We prepare the way of the Lord and make his paths straight when we examine our conscience, when we scrutinize our attitudes, in order to eliminate these sinful manners that I mentioned, which are not from God: success at all costs; power to the detriment of the weak; the desire for wealth; pleasure at any price.’
Pope Francis. Homily, the second Sunday of Advent, Dec 2016
Hymn suggestion for Sunday
'O come, O come Emmanuel'
Listen to a traditional choir singing this beautiful hymn HERE