Today we light the first and second of the candles on our Advent Wreath, increasing its brightness. Hopefully this action will be mirrored in wreaths we have made at home with our Children as we, in our families, talk and pray about the Coming of our Saviour. You will find plenty of faithful Catholic material, explaining the wreath’s symbolism and suggesting appropriate Prayers which will appeal to both Parents and Children, on this website.
By the time Christmas Day dawns, how long will the decorations have been up? How many Christmas dinners and parties will have left some people feeling somewhat jaded once the actual time for festivities arrives? Might we feel ‘shopped out’? This week’s readings hold a message of hope at a time when, in the news, things look pretty grim and even the bright lights cannot mask reality!
The Entrance Antiphon (cf Isaiah 30:19, 30) proclaims that ‘…the Lord will come to save all nations…’.
In the First Reading (Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11) we hear the words, “Console my people…says your God…Prepare in the wilderness a way for the Lord…”, a joyful proclamation of the impending coming of our Saviour Who, alone, can set things right!
The Response to the Psalm (Psalm 84:9-14, response v8) echoes last week’s Alleluia verse, calling again for God’s ‘…Mercy and…Saving Help…’.
Saint Peter, our first Pope, (2 Peter 3:8-14) reminds us that, while time may stretch out for us, God sees all in an instant. We must continually prepare for the Second Coming, live ‘…holy and saintly lives…do your best to live lives without spot or stain…’. This message is echoed in the Alleluia Verse (Luke 3:4-6). Be always ready and so come to, ‘…see the Salvation of God…’.
In his Gospel (Mark 1:1-8) Mark continues this theme, quoting Isaiah and introducing the last of the Prophets, Saint John the Baptist, who would announce the promised arrival of the Lamb of God. John himself was a sign of contradiction who would give his life for challenging Herod’s immorality.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen!
From St. Bart's
Thoughts on the traditional teachings, devotions, seasons and matters of the Catholic Church