Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
December 10, A.D. 2006
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
The theme for the Second Sunday of Advent is found in the popular hymn Every Valley. “Every Valley shall be exalted, and every hill brought low.” The prophet Baruch, loyal disciple and friend of Jeremiah, wrote in the sixth century B.C. that God Himself had commanded that the lofty mountain be humbled, and the deep gorges filled in. Baruch had been sent by the Jews in exile to prophesy a future time in which justice would triumph. We certainly need to listen to the lector proclaim this encouraging message. Perhaps John the Baptist had Baruch in mind when he repeated that message to those who came to hear him in the desert. That forerunner of Jesus, the earnest prophet dressed in animal skins, holds center stage every Advent. He’s an essential voice for today’s Christians, urging us to repentance and vigilance even as he consoles us with a coming time of justice.
It’s not just a comforting message. It’s very much a challenge to us today, for our salvation depends on leveling the mountains of our pride, and filling in the empty holes left by our inactivity. Besides a personal dimension, the Church asks us to look at the larger picture. The Bishops of the United States have launched an Advent program, alerting all of us to a crisis of hunger and starvation in many countries. That hunger is both physical and spiritual, a hunger that cries out for action. Let’s reflect on our own personal response. As the inscription reads at the base of a sundial in an old English garden, “It’s later than you think!”
The second reading for today’s liturgy is from a letter of Paul from prison. His beloved Philippians have sent him a young man, Epaphrodites, to help alleviate his suffering. Now, Paul is sending that man back home, and urging the Christians of Philippi to “value the things that really matter,” and to reap a “harvest of justice” before the end comes. Isn’t that a timely message for us too, this Advent?
- Msgr. Paul Whitmore
(pwhitmore29 at yahoo dot com)
The Second Sunday of Advent
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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