I can hardly believe that it is the Second Sunday of Advent. I am trying to slow down and have more time for prayer, but we seem to have some extra events planned for every week. I am again dipping into Gobert Morneau's "Fathoming Bethlehem: Advent Meditations
" but mostly I am trying to stay with Mary and imagine how these last weeks before the birth of Jesus were for her. She was certainly conscious of His Presence (I think most babies make their presence known during the weeks before birth by moving around and even kicking). I think any mother spends those last weeks before giving birth very aware of the presence of her baby. She is praying consciously or not for the birth of a healthy baby. And Mary knew that her baby was unique.
I did look at the Sunday readings, I love the Collect which asks that "no earthly undertaking hinder those who set out in haste to meet your Son, but may our learning of heavenly wisdom gain us admittance to his company."
The First Reading is from Isaiah 11: 1-10 and has the beautiful passage of "a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and strength, a spirit of knowledge and fear of the Lord,..." Here we have the gifts of the Holy Spirit which we all receive in the Sacrament of Confirmation. This reading also tells us how peaceful all will be. It is worth meditating on today.
Responsorial Psalm: "Justice shall fourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever."
The Second Reading is from Paul's letter to the Romans: 15:4-9. Paul asks, "May the God of encouragement and endurance grant you to thini in harmony with one another, in keeping with Christ Jesus, that with one accord you may, with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." And then Paul tells them to "Welcome one another, then as Christ welcomed you...'
The Gospel is Luke: 3: 1-12 and speaks of John the Baptist preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, "Repent, for the Kingdom of eaven is at hand!" We are called to prepare the way of the Lord. That is what we are doing with this beautiful season of Advent.