Prepare for the coming of Jesus through repentance.
As we take another step into Advent, the First Reading introduces one of the main themes of this period of the year: Peace. Isaiah paints a picture of the whole world, of people and animals living together in harmony, led by a King who has all the qualities to rule justly.
The Psalm, too, speaks of this hope for peace and justice for all.
St Paul, when he writes to the Romans, also mentions the hope which can be found in Scripture. All the more reason, then, for us to be tolerant of one another, so we can all give glory to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Second Reading)
In this week’s Gospel, John the Baptist appears by the River Jordan to entreat people to repent and prepare a way for the one who is to come. He tells them that being a son or daughter of Abraham will not be enough to be sure of being saved. There is no room for complacency. They are to repent; to change their way of life.
Mindful of this week’s readings and the Opening Prayer of the Mass, I can perhaps look around me and, whether by word or deed, encourage others to join me as I set out in haste to meet Jesus this Christmas.
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2020 is the tenth anniversary of Verbum Domini – Pope Benedict XVI’s Apostolic Exhortation on ‘The Word of the Lord’ and the 1,600th anniversary of St Jerome’s death. These dates have inspired the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales to dedicate 2020 as a year of focus on the Bible and ‘The God Who Speaks’, starting on the First Sunday in Advent, 2019. We will be marking this initiative each week with an additional sheet, offering a short quotation from Scripture, together with a prayer.
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