Tag Archives: Second Sunday of Advent

Second Sunday of Advent

Advent can easily become a neglected season.  We can get so busy with our preparations for Christmas that Advent is quickly behind us.

Advent is meant to redirect our focus from shopping to stopping to consider God’s promises, yet to be fulfilled.  Advent is more than waiting for another Christmas Day.

Advent is about each of us proclaiming and bringing Christ to a person, a people, a world who are part of our lives in simple and ordinary acts of compassion, mercy and justice.

Some of you may remember the story that Matt Kelly shared in his book “Rediscover Jesus” that many of you read last Lent.

Paul had just completed the biggest meeting of his life and could not wait to tell his wife and his boss.  As he and his team rushed out of the NYC office building, they noticed a rare sight during rush hour: a vacant cab.

As the team ran toward the cab, eager to get their flight home, they inadvertently knocked over a small produce stand.  No one seemed to see this, until Paul stopped and turned around to go back.  One of the team called out to Paul, “Come on, you will miss your flight.”

“Go ahead without me”, Paul replied as he went back to help.  As he neared the sidewalk covered with the fallen fruits and vegetables, he realized the woman behind the stand was blind.  She was just there crying.

“It is ok, it’s ok”, said Paul as he picked up the fruits and vegetables.

There were a hundred people passing in every direction, but no one else stopped to help.   They just scurried off to wherever they were going.

When the fruit was back up on the stand, organizing the fruits and vegetables and putting to the side those damaged.  Paul also asked the lady if she was ok and through her tears nodded yes.  He then reached into his wallet to “cover the damages.”

With that Paul turned and began to walk away.

“Sir,” the woman called to him.  And as Paul turned toward her she asked, “Are you Jesus?”

“Oh no,” he replied.

The woman then continued, “I only asked because I prayed for Jesus to help me as I heard my fruits and vegetables falling all over the sidewalk.”

Paul turned to leave, got his taxi, and as “karma” would have it, missed his flight.

That night in an airport hotel gave Paul time to think.  He could not get one question out of his head: “Are you Jesus?”

Advent, my friends, is that reminder that we are called to be part of the effort, the work of proclaiming and building the Kingdom of God, here on Earth as it is in Heaven.

Bringing Christ to a person, a people, a world who are part of our lives in simple and ordinary acts of compassion, mercy and justice.

And in doing so we do more than say Christ will come someday… we share that Christ is meant to come into our lives everyday – through us, his Faithful Disciples of today.

Second Sunday of Advent

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

This Tuesday, December 8, 2015 begins a very special year:   A Jubilee Year of Mercy, from this Tuesday, December 8, 2015 thru The Feast of Christ the King at the end of November 2016.   A Year that Pope asks all of us to participate in.

The date chosen to begin this Year of Mercy, Tuesday, December 8, 2015, is a significant date in the life of the church:

+ December 8 is the Feast of Immaculate Conception of Mary.  Mary the Mother of God;  Mary the model of discipleship for all.

+ December 8 also marks the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council that began in 1965.

Pope Francis in speaking about this Jubilee Year of Mercy shared, “I ask everyone to celebrate the Year of Mercy by showing to others the Mercy of God constantly at work in all of us.”

The Pope is asking us to use the year ahead to “become more and more a conduit of God’s mercy in everything we say and do.”

Last weekend at the 10:30 am Mass, I suggested that we “look for Jesus” in the people we would be coming into contact during the week.  One couple shared with me:

We have made special efforts to see Jesus in everyone around us this week in the midst of the holiday preparation hubbub.  We discussed with each other the challenge that this presented at times and we admit that it was not always easy.  Nevertheless we feel it was a very worthwhile Advent exercise and one we will try to continue.

They continued by sharing:

On the lighter side of this, we found ourselves tied up in a couple major traffic jams which led us to conclude that “Jesus is not always a very good driver!”

My response to this was, Jesus still has a Learner’s Permit.

Well as our Advent continues, as we begin this year of Mercy, I would share with you three areas where we might seriously think about “Mercy” becoming more evident in our Lives:

  1. Listen to God’s Word.  In today’s readings what is God sharing and asking of us?

+ Baruch, the Prophet in reading one shares, “God is leading us to joy.”  Do we see, do we experience, are we open to all the good that God has and is leading us to?

+ Paul, in the Second reading, “prays that our love will increase.”  How is our love increasing for God, for others?

+ Luke, our Gospel Writer, reminds us “make straight the road.”  What efforts do we make, can we make to assist others, in need, in distress, here and now ?

  1. Recognize the need for Mercy.  We do not have to look far to see human misery.  How will we heal wounds; knock down the walls between us; restore human dignity?
  1. Do not judge or condemn.  As the pope often reminds us, “no one can look into another’s soul, we only see what happens on the surface.”  Refraining from judging and condemnation is an Act of Mercy because it allows us to accept the good in every person and spare that person suffering caused by our negative attitude.

This Advent – This Jubilee of Mercy:  God who began this good work in us; May He bring it to completion.   (Amen.)