December 9, 2018 — Second Sunday of Advent
BAR 5:1-9; PS 126: 1-6; PHIL 1: 4-6, 8-11; LK 3: 1-6
The readings for the Second Week of Advent offer both encouragement and challenge as we reflect and prepare for the two “comings” of Christ — His coming as a baby on the great feast of Christmas, and the anticipation of His second coming at the end of time.
Our First Reading, from Baruch, is a wonderful reminder that God has triumphed over sin and death and that we — His faithful disciples — will live in the light of His glory one day. Until He comes again, we must remain faithful to Him as true disciples and good stewards of all the gifts He has given us.
While it can be tempting to give in to the materialism and calls for self-indulgence that surround us, (ironically more than ever at this time of year), this reading calls us back to the spiritual reality that this life is passing and that we are made for eternal life with God. We are called to prepare for eternal life by the way that we use our time, our talents and our treasure now.
The Gospel reading from Luke shows us how personal and detailed is God’s love for humanity as He prepared the way for Christ’s coming among us. We are told the precise time, place and person, John the Baptist, He appointed to announce the arrival of our Savior.
John tells us how to celebrate to the fullest this first “coming” on the feast of Christmas and how to prepare for the second coming — through repentance.
This Advent, let’s turn away from any bad habits or sin that may have crept in to our lives and turn our hearts and minds back to Christ. This is what the stewardship way of life is all about —moving closer ever closer in relationship with Christ and imitation of Him, ready to celebrate His birth, with eyes fixed on eternal life with Him.