Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. For the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together. Luke 3:4, Isaiah 40:5a
you sent your messengers the prophets
to preach repentance and prepare the way
for our salvation:
give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake
our sins, that we may greet with joy
the coming in Jesus Christ our Redeemer,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
- Isaiah 40:1-11
- Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
- 2 Peter 3:8-15a
- Mark 1:1-8
- Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
- Song of Mary
- 1 Thess 5:12-28
- John 1:6-8, 19-28
A Thought to Ponder
Advent 2 Mark 1:1-8
John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were being baptised by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.
John’s brief appearance in Mark’s Gospel begins a new era in the history of salvation. Mark’s details about John’s appearance recall the austere dress of the great prophet Elijah (2 Kings 1: 8). The Jews believed that Elijah would return from heaven to announce the long-awaited restoration of Israel as God’s kingdom. For Mark and the synoptics, this expectation is fulfilled in John the Baptiser. In the Baptiser’s proclamation of Jesus as the Messiah, the age of the prophets is fulfilled and the age of the Messiah begins. John’s baptism with water is an act of hope and expectation in the Messiah’s baptism in the very Spirit and life of God.
Each one of us is called to be a prophet of Christ. The word prophet comes from the Greek word meaning “one who proclaims.” Not all prophets wear camel skins and eat locusts – there are prophets among us right now who proclaim in their ministries, in their compassion and their kindness, in their courageous commitment to what is right that Jesus the Messiah has come.
To be a prophet of God’s justice begins with embracing God’s vision of what the world can and should become and then giving one’s self totally and unreservedly to realising that vision. In the baptismal call to become prophets of the God who comes, we are to do the work of transforming the wastelands around us into harvests of justice and forgiveness, to create highways for our God to enter and re-create our world in charity and peace.
As an “Advent people,” we are caught (like the Israelites returning to Jerusalem – Reading 1) between a world that is dying and, at the same time, a world waiting to be reborn. The work of Advent is to bring about that rebirth: to prepare a world that is ready for the Lord’s coming.
You can read the Pew Sheet hereAdvent-2-B