2nd Sunday of Advent, Year A, 16
This is the season of expectation, preparation, and waiting, but for what?
Let us look how this season unfolds.
The first days are all about the expectation, preparation, and waiting for the return in glory of Christ our King. The readings and prayers of the Mass and the Divine Office for the a large part are pointed toward that future event and should be read and prayed that way.
Beginning of December 17th, we begin a novena, nine days of reflecting on the Word who became flesh that culminates on Christmas Day, a remembrance of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem.
But there is another aspect of expectation, preparation, and waiting, a more secular one that involves decorating, shopping for just the right present, and inviting guests to our home or responding to an invitation to join family and/or friends to celebrate. We all have hopes to make this Christmas “the best one ever!”
Well, guess what. Isaiah, Paul and the Baptist all talk about God’s hopes. Isaiah says that God wants to yearn for “that day” and accept the Spirit who offers us the gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel, strength, and fear of the Lord. Those gifts are needed in order to create the community that Paul envisions, a community that attracts others to glorify God. And then John the Baptizer shouts to us to take those ideals and make them realities by bearing the fruit of repentance to prepare the way of the Lord.
In this season of expectation, preparation, and waiting, we are to live in the present with one foot in the future and one in the past.