Second Sunday of Advent

December 10, 2017
Second Sunday of Advent
Lectionary: 5

A Reading for the Gospel according to Mark
MK 1:1-8

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way.
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
"Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths."
John the Baptist appeared in the desert
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
People of the whole Judean countryside
and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem
were going out to him
and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River
as they acknowledged their sins.
John was clothed in camel's hair,
with a leather belt around his waist.
He fed on locusts and wild honey.
And this is what he proclaimed:
"One mightier than I is coming after me.
I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.
I have baptized you with water;
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

Salesian Sunday Reflection
Second Sunday of Advent

In today’s Gospel we experience “A voice in the desert” crying out to us to make straight God’s paths. St. Francis de Sales tells us how to do this:

Roads that twist and turn only weary and mislead travelers. To make straight God’s path in our hearts, we must have as our only goal to please God. We ought to be like the mariner who, in steering his vessel, always keeps his eye on the needle of the compass. We too must have our eyes fixed on acquiring an even disposition, the most pleasing virtue in the spiritual life. We need to consistently lead our feelings, emotions and inclinations to God’s love, which transforms them so that we possess an even disposition.

When our heart struggles constantly between our love of God and our self-centered love, we find ourselves in a state of fear, anxiety and confusion. The sight of our great faults can bring with it a certain unhealthy fear that unnerves the heart and often leads to discouragement. For this reason, throughout our whole life we must exercise ourselves in trusting God, and confiding ourselves to the goodness of God, who loves us.

Yet, a holy fear leads us to take proper means to avoid trouble. Holy fear and hope ought never to be without one another. Hope encourages us to expect holy enjoyment in God’s supreme goodness. God uses both of these virtues to work spiritual cures in us.

Our life contains many tortuous paths that can be put right only by a change of heart. When we orient our heart towards God’s love, we experience true self-love. When divine love reigns in our hearts, it tames all other loves. Divine love subjects all our natural emotions and affections to God’s plan and service. All one’s movements are at rest in this holy love. Those who have an abundance of sacred love have hearts full of confidence and hope, for they are on the straight path to wholeness in God. (Adapted from the writings of St. Francis de Sales, especially Sermons, L. Fiorelli, Ed.).

(Adapted from the writing of St. Francis de Sales, especially, Sermons, L. Fiorelli, Ed.)