Second Sunday in Advent

This week we light one candle for peace, one bright candle for peace, because He brings peace to everyone He comes, He comes. Before you say “Wait isn’t it the feast of the Immaculate Conception?” I first want to commend you for remember a Holy Day of Obligation but since the feast falls on a Sunday the feast is transferred to Monday and the obligation to go to Mass does not carry over.

As we get into the readings for this week we begin back with the prophet Isaiah we hear that a shoot will sprout from the stump of Jesse and blossom. The tree of Jesse is a common subject in art it has been drawn in manuscripts, carved in wood and stone and most often featured in stained glass windows. It is a poor man’s Bible connecting Jesus to the royalty of the Old Testament. Over time the Jesse Tree has also turned into something that families with children do during Advent, adding an ornament to a tree each day that represents something from Creation to the Birth of Christ, to help children understand what Christmas really mean.

Turning to Paul’s Letter to the Romans Paul goes on about how the scriptures are written for us so that we might have hope and that we all should accept Jesus as our leader. It is great that Paul reminds us of the greatness that is the Scriptures it would be wonderful if more people would take time to read The Bible on their own time and becoming acquainted with it. This library is one we all have access to and the Holy Fathers for ages have been urging more faithful to read and understand the readings. Even just reading the readings for a Sunday before Mass or afterward would be greatly appreciated.

Reaching the Gospel we skip many year back to before the active ministry of Jesus. John the Baptist, son of Elizabeth and Zechariah, is out is the desert crying out “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” the echoing Isaiah’s “A voice cries out from the wilderness. Prepare the way of the Lord.” Matthew likes to reference the Prophets of the Old Testament to show that Jesus is the Messiah that they have been waiting for. The reading goes on with John the Baptist telling his followers that someone greater is coming and he (John) is not worthy to even unlatch his (Jesus) sandals and the one to come will baptize with the Holy spirit and fire as opposed to the water that John could offer. I hope that we are reminded by the reading today of our own roots, many are brought up in a faith filled household other come to faith by their own accord. May we be able to show those who brought us to our faith how grateful we are of them during this season of Advent.