Archive for December 7, 2019

Second Sunday in Advent

Posted: December 7, 2019 by CatholicJules in Life's Journeys
Tags: ,

Kingdom Come: Scott Hahn Reflects on the Second Sunday in Advent


Isaiah 11:1–10
Psalm 72:1–2, 7–8, 12–13, 17
Romans 15:4–9
Matthew 3:1–12

“The kingdom of heaven is at hand,” John proclaims. And the liturgy today paints us a vivid portrait of our new king and the shape of the kingdom He has come to bring.
The Lord whom John prepares the way for in today’s Gospel is the righteous king prophesied in today’s First Reading and Psalm. He is the king’s son, the son of David—a shoot from the root of Jesse, David’s father (see Ruth 4:17).

He will be the Messiah, anointed with the Holy Spirit (see 2 Samuel 23:1; 1 Kings 1:39; Psalm 2:2), endowed with the seven gifts of the Spirit—wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord.

He will rule with justice, saving the poor from the ruthless and wicked. His rule will be not only over Israel—but will extend from sea to sea, to the ends of the earth. He will be a light, a signal to all nations. And they will seek Him and pay Him homage.
In Him, all the tribes of the earth will find blessing. The covenant promise to Abraham (see Genesis 12:3), renewed in God’s oath to David (see Psalm 89:4,28), will be fulfilled in His dynasty. And His name will be blessed forever.

In Christ, God confirms His oath to Israel’s patriarchs, Paul tells us in today’s Epistle. But no longer are God’s promises reserved solely for the children of Abraham. The Gentiles, too, will glorify God for His mercy. Once strangers, in Christ they will be included in “the covenants of promise” (see Ephesians 2:12).

John delivers this same message in the Gospel. Once God’s chosen people were hewn from the rock of Abraham (see Isaiah 51:1–2). Now, God will raise up living stones (see 1 Peter 2:5)—children of Abraham born not of flesh and blood but of the Spirit.
This is the meaning of the fiery baptism He brings—making us royal heirs of the kingdom of heaven, the Church.

This year’s LISS (life in the spirit seminar) journey has given me a new perspective on Today’s first reading and Gospel.

In order for conversion of hearts there must be repentance first before God’s grace can flow. And so the bread of suffering and water of distress teaches us the effects of sin in our lives. How lost we were without our Lord in our lives. Then when we cry out to the Lord for mercy, He comes swiftly to heal, restore and nourish us. In the early weeks of the LISS, participants learn of just how much God our Father loves each and everyone of them. They begin to see how disordered their lives had become by not placing our Lord above all. Slowly but surely His grace begins to flow into their lives as they move towards full reconciliation with the Lord their God. They are then ready for the full outpouring of His love and grace through the Holy Spirit.

The LISS team and facilitators are the labourers! And the labourers are indeed few! Who wants to be a labourer? One who has to be invested and committed every week for nine weeks. To journey with, hand hold, pray fervently for and with the flock entrusted to their care. So that they can have a deep conversion experience, encounter the Lord in all His glory and become disciples (labourers) themselves. It is truly a labour of love! So then can such a labourer check their schedules to pick and choose when she or he is available to the flock? Yes Lord send me… But in my own time please? What I will and will not do? You receive without charge, give without charge! In other words no pre-conditions! Love freely and unconditionally. Only then we will see the fruits of our labour through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Here I am Lord send me! Amen

First reading

Isaiah 30:19-21,23-26 ·
The Lord God will be gracious to you and hear your cry

Thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel:
People of Zion, you will live in Jerusalem and weep no more. He will be gracious to you when he hears your cry; when he hears he will answer. When the Lord has given you the bread of suffering and the water of distress, he who is your teacher will hide no longer, and you will see your teacher with your own eyes. Whether you turn to right or left, your ears will hear these words behind you, ‘This is the way, follow it.’ He will send rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the bread that the ground provides will be rich and nourishing. Your cattle will graze, that day, in wide pastures. Oxen and donkeys that till the ground will eat a salted fodder, winnowed with shovel and fork. On every lofty mountain, on every high hill there will be streams and watercourses, on the day of the great slaughter when the strongholds fall. Then moonlight will be bright as sunlight and sunlight itself be seven times brighter – like the light of seven days in one – on the day the Lord dresses the wound of his people and heals the bruises his blows have left.


Matthew 9:35-10:1,5,6-8
The harvest is rich but the labourers are few

Jesus made a tour through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases and sickness.
And when he saw the crowds he felt sorry for them because they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest.’
He summoned his twelve disciples, and gave them authority over unclean spirits with power to cast them out and to cure all kinds of diseases and sickness. These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them as follows: ‘Go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. And as you go, proclaim that the kingdom of heaven is close at hand. Cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out devils. You received without charge, give without charge.’