Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year B, 24th December 2017

The Lord is always faithful to his promises

This year, these readings come to us on the very Eve of Christmas. Today we celebrate the secret hidden for all ages, revealed in the birth of the Christ, the son of Mary (Second Reading).

The Gospel retells that wonderful account of the angel coming to Mary with good news. It would be through her that the ‘impossible’ plan of God would unfold. The virgin would conceive and give birth to the Son of God and successor to King David.

Whereas David wanted to build a house (temple) for the Lord (First Reading), the Lord promises to build a House (dynasty) for David. This reading reminds us that our plans are often not God’s plans … and the heart of God’s own plan, demonstrated also in the Psalm, is His faithful love, expressed in His covenant with us.

As we come nearer to celebrating this wonderful birth, let us pray for ever-greater awareness of the presence of the Just One, coming like the dew upon us, so that the earth of our very lives (as we hear in the Entrance Antiphon) might be opened to His unimaginable love.

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Second Sunday of Advent, Year B, 10th December 2017

Prepare a way for the Lord!

The readings this week invite us to prepare for the coming of the Lord Jesus into our lives and our hearts, both at Christmas and every day.

The First Reading from Isaiah speaks of the God who wants to console his people; who comes to change the landscape of our lives with power and tenderness.

God speaks in a voice of peace, offering mercy, faithfulness and justice. Wherever God is present, there will be peace for all (Psalm).

St. Peter (Second Reading) reminds us that God’s time is not our own. While patiently waiting and longing for God to bring to completion all that he promises us, we are called to try to live holy lives, to live at peace with ourselves and others.

The coming of Jesus is announced by a messenger, John the Baptist, who prepares the way for the Lord as Isaiah foretold. His witness to the truth changes the lives of those who hear what he has to say (Gospel).

In this time of Advent, we ask the Lord to free us from all that would hinder our following him more closely, so that we too might be messengers of the Good News for others.

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Second Sunday of Advent, Year B, 10th December 2017

Prepare a way for the Lord!

The readings this week invite us to prepare for the coming of the Lord Jesus into our lives and our hearts, both at Christmas and every day.

The First Reading from Isaiah speaks of the God who wants to console his people; who comes to change the landscape of our lives with power and tenderness.

God speaks in a voice of peace, offering mercy, faithfulness and justice. Wherever God is present, there will be peace for all (Psalm).

St. Peter (Second Reading) reminds us that God’s time is not our own. While patiently waiting and longing for God to bring to completion all that he promises us, we are called to try to live holy lives, to live at peace with ourselves and others.

The coming of Jesus is announced by a messenger, John the Baptist, who prepares the way for the Lord as Isaiah foretold. His witness to the truth changes the lives of those who hear what he has to say (Gospel).

In this time of Advent, we ask the Lord to free us from all that would hinder our following him more closely, so that we too might be messengers of the Good News for others.

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2nd Sunday of Advent, Year A, 4th December 2016

O people of Sion, behold, the Lord will come to save the nations, and the Lord will make the glory of his voice heard in the joy of your heart.  [Ent. Ant. (Is 30:19,30)]

Today’s Gospel resounds with that cry from the Baptist, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight’.   We are given an image of the coming Lord as one who clears the threshing floor – one who changes the pattern of things.

He wishes to transform in us that which hinders us from receiving him: so we are invited to move from hopelessness to justice (Psalm), and from wretchedness to integrity (First Reading).  He is the one who, by being our friend, helps us to be faithful (Second Reading).

On this Second Sunday of Advent, we are called to share in the work of the Lord, who desires to clear any obstacles in our lives that might be blocking his life in us.  In this way may the ‘glory of the Lord’s voice be heard in the joy of our hearts’.

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