Theme: ADVENT: THE COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AT
CHRISTMAS AND AT THE END OF TIME
- Isaiah 11:1-10;
- Psalm 71:1-2. 7-8. 12-13. 17. R/ cf. v. 7;
- Romans 15:4-9
- Matthew 3:1-12
Today is the 2nd Sunday of Advent in the new Liturgical Year A. Advent means coming, that is, the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ at Christmas and at the end of time! Advent is therefore a time when we prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ at Christmas and at the end of time!
Jesus came 2,000 years ago in memory, Jesus continues to come every Christmas in mystery, and Jesus will come at the end of time in majesty! Because Jesus came 2,000 years ago in memory, died, rose from the dead and gave us the Holy Spirit; we believe Jesus comes every Christmas in mystery. The word Christ-mas comes from two words, that is, Christ’s Mass. And the Mass or the Eucharist is the sacrament of sacraments. The word sacrament in both Greek and Latin means mystery. Thus Jesus comes every Christ-mas in mystery. Because Jesus comes every Christmas in mystery, we believe Jesus will come at the end of time in majesty to be king of the universe!
Advent is therefore a time when we prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ at Christmas and at the end of time!
The gospel today tells us to prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ by repentance and by confessing our sins. Repentance or conversion is not only turning away from sin, but it is also turning away from the world; and it is not only turning to God, but it is also turning to the God of Jesus Christ, that is, a God of love, mercy, forgiveness and salvation! Only the God of Jesus Christ can save us! The God of Law cannot save us! Only the God of love can save us!
Thus the gospel today tells us that when Jesus Christ comes he will burn away our sins with the fire of the Holy Spirit, the fire of God’s love! Thus John the Baptist tells us in the gospel today:
“I baptize you in water for repentance, but the one who follows me is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to carry his sandals; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Mt 3:11; Sunday Missal (SM))
The Gospel Acclamation also tells us to prepare for the coming of the Lord, for when he comes he will bring us salvation! Thus we read:
“Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight, and all mankind shall see the salvation of God.” (Lk 3:4. 6; SM)
The first reading follows the theme of the gospel. The first reading tells us that when the Lord comes he will bring us justice and peace! Peace, shalom, salvation! Thus we read in the first reading:
“He does not judge by appearances, he gives no verdict on hearsay, but judges the wretched with integrity, and with equity gives a verdict for the poor of the land.” (Is 11: 3-4; SM)
Thus again we read in the first reading:
“The wolf lives with the lamb, the panther lies down with the kid, calf and lion cub feed together with a little boy to lead them. The cow and the bear make friends, their young lie down together. The lion eats straw like the ox. The infant plays over the cobra’s hole; into the viper’s lair the young child puts his hand.” (Is 11:6-8; SM)
Thus a re-turn to the peace/shalom of Paradise!
The responsorial psalm follows the theme of the first reading. Thus the response:
“In his days justice shall flourish and peace till the moon fails.” (Ps 71:7; SM)
The responsorial psalm has four stanzas. The first stanza tells us that he will bring justice (vv. 1-2). The second stanza tells us that he will bring justice and peace/shalom (vv. 7-8; SM). The third stanza tells us that he will bring salvation (vv. 12-13; SM). And the fourth stanza tells us to bless him, that is, to praise and thank him! (v. 17; SM)
The second reading tells us that the Lord comes not only to save the Jews, but also to save the pagans! Thus we read in the second reading:
“The reason Christ became the servant of circumcised Jews was not only so that God could faithfully carry out the promises made to the patriarchs, it was also to get the pagans to give glory to God for his mercy, as scripture says in one place: For this I shall praise you among the pagans and sing your name.” (Rm 15: 8-9; SM)
Again, Advent is a time when we prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ at Christmas and at the end of time. Again, we prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ by:
(i) Praying, going to Sunday Mass, going to prayer meetings, attending BEC (Basic Ecclesial Community) meetings, attending Bible-sharing, reading the Bible, etc.
(ii) Doing good works, e.g. by helping the poor and the needy; and by visiting the sick and the aged, etc.
(iii) Repentance and confessing our sins, that is, going for the Penitential Service.
(iv) Avoiding sin and avoiding the occasions of sin, that is, avoiding the peoples, places and things that cause us to sin.
(v) Caroling, that is, proclaiming the good news of the Lord’s coming, so that others may believe and be saved, and so that others may also prepare for the coming of the Lord.
A blessed Advent to all of you! Amen!