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Scripture Reflections - Dec. 9
The Second Sunday of Advent

Baruch 5:1-9
Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11
Luke 3:1-6

Archives Msgr Paul E. Whitmore
Msgr. Paul E. Whitmore

Advent is a joyous time for hope and renewal. Fear and uncertainty distract us from the joy of waiting for a small child to come again with His love. So let’s not waste these precious days.

The prophet Baruch in the first reading challenges us: “Up, Jerusalem! Stand upon the heights – look to the east and see your children gathered from the East and from the West at the word of the Holy One...” As those in exile prepare to return to Jerusalem, Baruch urges them to (figuratively) level the desert road for a speedy journey.

“For God has commanded that every lofty mountain be made low, and that the age-old depths and gorges be filled to level ground, that Israel may advance secure in the glory of God.”

The theme is repeated in John the Baptist’s preaching of the need for repentance. He uses the words of Isaiah: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low.”

How can we apply this ancient message to our lives? We have our work cut out for us. We need to reflect on every obstacle in our lives that would prevent us from growing daily in Jesus’ saving grace.

The grace we await on Christmas is very much bound up with the saving work of the Cross and the Resurrection. Jesus was born into a life of sacrifice and suffering for sin. In order that His life not be in vain, we must respond in loving gratitude by cleansing our souls through fasting, almsgiving and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Look to your parish bulletin and your diocesan Catholic paper for times and places.

Pay special attention to the words of St. Paul in his advice to the Philippians: “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.” He also prays that their love will increase “ever more and more in knowledge…to discern what is of value.”

We must not let the forces of evil that threaten our world spoil the coming days of our Christmas.

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