Second Sunday of Advent. 'Repent for the kingdom of heaven has drawn near.’

An enduring message of Advent is one of descent not ascent… "He must grow greater, I must grow less…" (John 3:30.) The season of Advent allows our hearts to be touched by the small simplicity of the Christ baby who is already Christ the King. Let us stay focused on the reality of this message as we draw near to the amazing feast of Christmas.

I baptise you with water for repentance, but the one who comes after me is more powerful than I, and I am not fit to carry his sandals; he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Matt 3:11 


Is 11:1-10   For the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea.

Ps 71:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17: R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace forever.

Rom 15:4-9   Welcome one another then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God.

Alleluia, alleluia prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths: all people shall see the salvation of God. Alleluia!

Mt 3:1-12   ‘Repent for the kingdom of heaven has drawn near.’

Homily Studio podcast

Listen to the Homily Studio for a conversation on this weeks’ scripture readings. The podcast is available at this link from Monday 28 November.

Suggestions for Prayers of intercession

We pray for:

Increased Attentiveness: that the Spirit will shift us from our busy daily routines and give us the grace to focus on the signs of the times, so that we live more simply each day.

E te Ariki, Whakarongo mai rā kia a mātou.

Honest Repentance: that in this time of waiting we will spend time each day in the silence of the 'desert', listening to the Word made flesh. Help free us from what we think are entitlements and security. 

E te Ariki, Whakarongo mai rā kia a mātou.

For the unity of Christians: that dialogue between Christians of different denominations, united by one Baptism, may radiate with new brightness on this Synodal journey.

E te Ariki, Whakarongo mai rā kia a mātou.

For the people of Ukraine: Grant peace and protection to the people of Ukraine. Give them strength and courage to defend what is good, right, and holy. Keep them safe from harm and provide for all their needs, both temporal and spiritual.

E te Ariki, Whakarongo mai rā kia a mātou.

The Jesse Tree – the genealogy of Jesus

For a Jesse Tree Penitential Rite leading to the Liturgy of the Word click HERE

The Advent Wreath

The wreath and candles during Advent are an attractive Catholic tradition, originally adopted by Christians in the Middle Ages as part of their spiritual preparation for Christmas. The wreath and candles are full of symbolism linked to this season. The wreath is made of greenery signifying continuous life. The circle of the wreath, which has no beginning or end, symbolizes the eternity of God, the immortality of the soul, and everlasting life we find in Christ. The four candles represent the four weeks of Advent and one candle is lit each Sunday. Three candles are violet to signify this as a time of prayer, penance and sacrifice. One candle is rose pink representing the joy that the world experienced at the birth of Jesus.

Find a comprehensive explanation of the Advent wreath HERE

Or go to Mercy Home website to read about the purpose and symbolism of the Advent wreath and candles HERE

Photo here and on the main slider is taken by the river Jordan at the site reputed to be where John the Baptist publicly recognized his cousin Jesus as the Messiah.