Second Sunday of Advent - 10th December, 2017

Liturgical Reflection

Isaiah 40:1-4, 9-11; 2 Peter 3:8-14; Mark 1:1-8

Today, Isaiah’s first message from God is ‘Console my people’.  Then we hear that the God who has called us to be alert and ready is coming with power to say something new.  But there is no cause for fear: his power is the power of love, gentle as the loving care of a shepherd cradling lambs in his arms.  While we wait for him he is also waiting for us with infinite patience, giving us all time to repent and accept his welcome.  He wants not even one of us to be lost.  In this is our consolation.

In Mark, Isaiah’s messenger comes to life in the person of John the Baptist, who described himself as ‘a voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare a way for the Lord, make straight his paths’.  Each year as we begin a new liturgical cycle, Advent invites us to allow the Lord to do something new in us.  Heeding John the Baptist, we are invited to recognise the wilderness, the wastelands in or own lives.  Can I ask myself - do I waste my time and energies on pursuits that distract me from living the Gospel as a disciple of Christ?  Am I willing to prepare in myself a straight path for the Lord who is patiently waiting for entry?  Am I alert and ready to hear a call to change some of my attitudes and behaviours in order to live more closely with Christ?  In a world in which change is a constant experience, do I recognise a need for change in my own life?

The world to which Jesus came so long ago, to be Emmanuel, God with us, was very like our own: the rich and powerful prospered, the poor and powerless suffered.  Sounds familiar?  Jesus proclaimed a kingdom in which power was a call to service where all are equal as God’s people, all are welcome to the King’s table.  Advent gives us an opportunity to search for ways open to us now to promote the kingdom of love and service both at home and abroad.

Sr Mary Britt OP