Dec. 6, Second Sunday of Advent
Cycle C. Readings:
1) Baruch 5:1-9
2) Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11
Gospel: Luke 3:1-6
By Jeff Hensley
Catholic News Service
In the Gospel reading, John addresses the central theme of his preaching in quoting the prophet Isaiah, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled. … The winding roads shall be made straight … and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”
His words seem to echo those of the prophet Baruch in the Old Testament reading for this week. The prophets are saying, “Look out world, God is about to do something new, and it’s for you. In fact, it will be the very salvation of God!”
When we think of Jesus coming into the world, which is what we’re supposed to be doing during Advent, it can get to be pretty abstract. But my own family’s experience was that when Jesus came into my father’s world and my father, at age 16, accepted him as his savior, it all became very concrete.
My dad told stories of what his life was like as a child growing up in his home. It was very different from my own childhood experience.
His father would stay out all night, gambling and carousing, arriving home at dawn. One story had my grandmother chasing my grandfather around the kitchen with a butcher knife, intending to do him harm. Fortunately she didn’t, but not for lack of trying.
The church where my father came to know the Lord is also where he met my mother in a Sunday school class. The rest, as they say, is history. My father became an elder and a deacon in his Presbyterian church, and as a child I almost never missed a Sunday service.
My father would understand the words of Paul quoted in the reading from Philippians: “And this is my prayer: that your love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception.”
But if Jesus had not come into our world, had he not brought the very salvation of God, the words never would have been written, and a degree of love the world never before had known would not have come to us to shape us in his person, the very substance of love and mercy.
How has the coming of Jesus into the world made a difference in your family’s history?