Second Sunday of Advent (A)
December 04, 2022
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.

 

 Introit

 

People of Zion behold, the Lord is coming to save all nations; and the Lord shall cause you to hear his majestic voice for the joy of your heart. Ps/. O Shepherd of Israel hear us, you who lead Joseph like a flock!

 

“The Introit is taken from Isaias xxx and from Psalm lxxix, in which we ask that our Lord will show himself at last to the faithful tribes of Israel. This is the psalm of the Apparitions, so often repeated by the Church during the Christmas season, because it expresses the supreme longing of the patriarchs and of the just men of old that the power of the Most High might come to redeem mankind and destroy the empire of Satan, the fortis armatus who so jealously keeps guard over his prey." (Schuster)

Kyrie

 

Collect

Almighty and merciful God,
may no earthly undertaking hinder those
who set out in haste to meet your Son,
but may our learning of heavenly wisdom
gain us admittance to his company.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.

First Reading Is 11:1-10

On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD. Not by appearance shall he judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide, but he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land's afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips. Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; the calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them. The cow and the bear shall be neighbors, together their young shall rest; the lion shall eat hay like the ox. The baby shall play by the cobra's den, and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair. There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea. On that day, the root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, the Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17

 

R/. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.

O God, with your judgment endow the king,
and with your justice, the king's son;
he shall govern your people with justice
and your afflicted ones with judgment.

Justice shall flower in his days,
and profound peace, till the moon be no more.
May he rule from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.

For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out,
and the afflicted when he has no one to help him.
He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor;
the lives of the poor he shall save.

May his name be blessed forever;
as long as the sun his name shall remain.
In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed;
all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.

Gradual

 

Out of Zion his perfect beauty shines forth. God is coming in broad daylight. Summon before him the consecrated nation who made a covenant with him by sacrifice.

 “The Gradual is from Psalm xlix, in which the parousia is depicted in vivid and glowing colours. The divine Judge comes into the world surrounded by all the heavenly host of the saints, to render to each one according to his works. There is a close connection, and one which the Church does not fail to point out, between the first appearance of the divine Infant and the last coming of the supreme Judge of the living and the dead. They represent the beginning and the end of the Messianic era.”

Second Reading Rom 15:4-9

Brothers and sisters: Whatever was written previously was written for our instruction,  that by endurance and by the encouragement of the Scriptures  we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement  grant you to think in harmony with one another, in keeping with Christ Jesus, that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God. For I say that Christ became a minister of the circumcised to show God's truthfulness, to confirm the promises to the patriarchs,  but so that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written: Therefore, I will praise you among the Gentiles and sing praises to your name.

Alleluia Lk 3:4, 6  

Alleluia, alleluia. I rejoiced when it was said unto me: “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” Alleluia.

“The alleluiatic verse is taken from Psalm cxxi, and expresses, with a graceful allusion to the... joy of the soul at the announcement of its not far distant homecoming to the heavenly Jerusalem.”

Gospel Mt 3:1-12

John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said:
A voice of one crying out in the desert, Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.

John wore clothing made of camel's hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.

When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit  will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."

Reflection Questions:

       How does the Spirit of the Lord rest up on you?

       How are you experiencing endurance and encouragement?

      What paths are in need straightening in your life?

Catena Nova

The Lord Jesus began his preaching of the Gospel with the admonition: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Mt 4:17).” His forerunner, John the Baptist, began his in the same way: “Repent,” he said, “for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Mt 3:2).” Today, for those who will not repent at the approach of the kingdom of heaven, the reproof of the Lord Jesus is the same. As he points out himself, “You cannot expect to see the kingdom of heaven coming. The kingdom of heaven,” he says elsewhere, “is within you (Lk 17:21).” Each of us would be wise therefore to take to heart the advice of his teacher, and not waste this present time. It is now that our Savior offers us his mercy; now, while he still spares the human race. Understand that it is in hope of our conversion that he spares us, for he desires no one’s damnation. As for when the end of the world will be, that is God’s concern. Now is the time for faith (St. Augustine of Hippo).

The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord, make straight the paths of our God. This makes clear that the events spoken of in the prophecy are to take place not in Jerusalem, but in the wilderness. By this is meant that the glory of the Lord will appear, and the salvation of God will be made known to all flesh. This prophecy was fulfilled historically and literally, when John the Baptist preached the saving advent of God, in the wilderness by the Jordan, where the salvation of God was in fact seen. For Christ and his glory became known to all when, after he had been baptized, the heavens were opened, and the Holy Spirit came down under the appearance of a dove, and rested upon him. Then was the Father’s voice heard in testimony to the Son: This is my Son, my Beloved; listen to him! These things were said because God was about to come to the wilderness, which had been impenetrable and inaccessible for a whole age. For all the nations were empty of the knowledge of God: access to them had been prohibited to all the people of God and the prophets. That was why that voice ordered a way to be prepared for the Word of God, and the pathless and rugged lands levelled, so that at his coming, our God might find the road clear for his advance. Prepare the way of the Lord: this is the Gospel preaching, the new consolation, the ardent desire that the salvation of God come to the knowledge of all people (Eusebius of Caesarea).

The Lord is love; his coming show him as love most singular, the love that gives itself most freely, the love that is God’s alone: agape. Because he is agape, he comes, and because his coming is agape it is judgement. His mere presence passes judgment on the evil in us because that presence is love, because evil is its opposite. Love sets free the powers of redeemed life, the love of God given to us. What faith and baptism had grounded in us and sin restricted can grow and develop once more. “Our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” The judgement which this coming of Christ in the Mystery brings can cause the growth of our redemption until the other judgement give it completion. So the Church goes joyfully into Advent, “look up, and lift up your heads; it means that the time draws near for your deliverance (Emiliana Lohr).

The Savior, then, who is coming to us is the clothing which we are to put on over our spiritual nakedness. Here let us admire the goodness of our God, who, remembering that we hid ourselves after our sin, because we were naked, promises himself to become our clothing, and to cover with his Divinity the misery of human nature. Let us, therefore, be on the watch for the day and the hour when he will come to us, and take precautions against the drowsiness which comes of custom and self-indulgence.  The light will soon appear; may its first rays be witness of our innocence, or at least of our repentance (Prosper Gueranger).

The desire of old was sustained solely by hope, but it is now a confident desire, founded on the consoling reality of the Redemption already accomplished. Although historically completed [twenty] centuries ago, this longing should be actualized daily, renewed in ever deeper and fuller reality in every Christian soul. The spirit of the Advent liturgy, commemorating  the age-long expectation of the Redeemer, will prepare us to celebrate the mystery of the Word made flesh by arousing in each one of us an intimate, personal expectation of the renewed coming of Christ to our soul. This coming is accomplished by grace; to the degree in which grace develops and matures in us, it becomes more copious, more penetrating, until it transforms the soul into an alter Christus (Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene).

The season of Advent is like springtime in nature, when everything is renewed and so is fresh and healthy. Advent is also meant to do this to us--to refresh us and make us healthy, to be able to receive Christ in whatever form he may come to us” (St. Teresa of Calcutta).

One day we shall have to “raise our heads” and look into the face of him who comes as the Son of Man, for he is after all the God of eternity. And from his countenance all will look at us: all those around us through whom we were good or guilty. A voice will come from the mouth: What you did—or did not—do the least of my brethren. That voice from the face will not die away and will fill our eternity from end to end. Shall we be able to raise our heads with the confidence of the forgiven and the living toward that face of the Son of Man? (Karl Rahner)

Homily

 

Creed

 

Intercessions (Mary Grace Melcher)

That the spirit of the Lord may rest upon
all who are entrusted with authority in
the church, giving them wisdom, counsel,
and strength.

That God may raise up sovereigns in every
nation who will judge the poor with justice,
and decide aright for the oppressed and
afflicted.

That in keeping with Christ Jesus, we
may learn to think in harmony with one
another, welcoming one another for the
glory of God.

That John the Baptist, the thundering
preacher of Advent repentance, may cry
out again in the desert of our secular world,
compelling us to make straight the way of
the Lord.

That the God of endurance and
encouragement may lift up and console
those who are weighed down with poverty,
disease, or grief, especially those who have
asked for our prayers.

That Jesus, who has baptized us with the
Holy Spirit and with fire, may take our
faithful departed like chosen wheat into
His barn, to be safe in heaven forever.

Your kingdom is at hand,
O God of justice and peace;
you made John the Baptist its herald
to announce the coming of your Christ,
who baptises with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
Give us a spirit of repentance
to make us worthy of the kingdom.
Let complacency yield to conviction,
that in our day justice will flourish
and conflict give way
to the peace you bestow in Christ.
Grant this through him whose coming is certain,
whose day draws near:
your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen (ICEL; 1998)

Offertory Chant

 

Thou wilt turn, O God, and put new life in us, and thy people shall rejoice in thee. Show us thy mercy, Lord, and grant us thy salvation.

“The offertory is from Psalm lxxxiv, which is conspicuously Messianic in character. After long ages of wrath, almighty God at length inaugurates an era of grace, and looks down with pity upon his people, as they hope and pray that Jehovah will speedily reveal to the world his Misericordia, Jesus, our Saviour.”

Offertory Hymn (James L. Milligan)

 

There’s a voice in the wilderness crying,
A call from the ways untrod:
Prepare in the desert a highway,
A highway for our God!
The valleys shall be exalted,
The lofty hills brought low;
Make straight all the crooked places,
Where the Lord our God may go!

O Zion, that bringest good tidings,
Get thee up to the heights and sing!
Proclaim to a desolate people
The coming of their King.
Like the flowers of the field they perish,
Like the grass, our works decay,
The power and pomp of nations
Shall pass like a dream away.

But the word of our God endureth,
The arm of the Lord is strong;
He stands in the midst of nations,
And He will right the wrong.
He shall feed His flock like a shepherd,
The lambs He'll gently hold;
In pastures of peace He’ll lead them,
And bring them safe to His fold.

Communion Chant

 

Arise, O Jerusalem, and stand on high; and behold the joy that shall come to you from your God. Ps./ O Jerusalem, glorify the Lord! * O Sion, praise your God!  He has strengthened the bars of your gates; *he has blessed your children within you. He established peace on your  borders; *he gives you your fill of finest wheat.

 

“The Communion is taken from Baruch iv and v, and invites the soul...to prepare itself today for the joys which our Lord has in store for it at the feast of Christmas.”

Closing Hymn

 

Throughout a world in shadow,

John’s urgent voice we hear;

Prepare for Christ our Savior!

The Son of God is near.

He gives a new beginning

To those who turn from sin,

Who answer in love with loving

By turning back to Him.

His veiled but certain splendor

Begins to shine from far;

He comes, His saints around Him:

The bright and Morning Star.

With all who wait with longing,

Give thanks that never cease,

For Him whom God is sending

To visit us in peace.

 

 




 

 

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