Second Week of Advent

All the Old Testament texts tell about a God who will emerge to judge and save. John the Baptist brought these ancient words into his time. John attracted many people seeking the rite of baptism and forgiveness of sins in order to leave behind a sinful life and make a liberating U-turn to start over.  But in proclaiming the One who would come, John knew that Jesus would bring a more radical, and deeper purification. Remember John 'leaped for joy' in Elizabeth's womb as Mary greeted her cousin. In this Advent season are we too filled with the joy of anticipation?

Reading 1 Bar 5:1-9

‘... for God will lead Israel with joy in the light of his glory, with the mercy and righteousness which come from him.’

Psalm 126 (125): 1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6

Response: The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

Reading 2 Phil 1: 4-6,8-11

‘I thank my God every time I remember you, and in every prayer of mine for you all. I pray with joy at your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. …’

Gospel. Luke 3:1-6

‘John went into the whole Jordan area, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, …’

Jordan desert

Advent gives a chance to make a U-Turn

Video reflection on Advent HERE

Message from Pope Francis - Life's essential ingredient is prayer

On the first Sunday of Advent Pope Francis notes that "Prayer awakens the soul from sleep and focuses it on what matters, on the end of existence."

More from his homily HERE 

Let us pray – kia īnoi tātou

You challenge us this Advent time
This season of preparation
To put aside our pride
And understand our need
For repentance
And mercy
Less of self
More of you
Preparation for our journey
To the stable and beyond
Purify our hearts
Sanctify our lives
That we might serve you
Faithfully this day and all days. Amen

Repentance and the right to forgiveness