6 Dec 2013

8th December 2013 - 2nd Sunday of Advent (Year A) - Fr Frank Duhig reflects on Advent

On this weeks programme we continue our journey through the Advent season we are joined by Fr Frank Duhig who reflects on the Advent season. We have our regular reflection on the Sunday gospel as well as some other liturgical odds and ends.

You can listen to this weeks full programme podcast HERE.

You can listen to Fr Frank's reflectione excerpted from the programme HERE.

Fr Frank Duhig reflects on Advent

Fr Frank joins us on this week programme for a short reflection on the multilayered season of Advent. Advent is very much a season of waiting; in some ways it is a return to Old Testament (OT) times which records a long extended period of waiting across many generations and periods of time when the Chosen People awaited the fulfillment of the Promise which had been made to them. We re-live an abbreviated OT time, waiting for the coming of the Messiah. The season is a reminder to us that we live in a continuous period of expectation - like a woman who is expecting her child. During the season we have a re-reading of the prophecies of the events of salvation history especially with Isaiah who calls us to stay ready even now. Adventus - the season reminds us who is coming and who it is we are still waiting for; a season for us to see how ready are we for Christ to come to us. After all, Advent is time for the preparing of coming of Christ rather than for the coming of Christmas

You can listen to Fr Franks reflection excerpted from the programme HERE.

Gospel - Matthew 3:1-12

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." Now John wore a garment of camel's hair, and a leather girdle around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sad'ducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit that befits repentance, and do not presume to say to yourselves, `We have Abraham as our father'; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

"I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the granary, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire
This week John the Baptist explodes onto the scene in Matthews gospel with John just appearing in the wilderness, proclaiming repentance. An austure and ascetic figure calling people back to the basics - the first in 400 years for the People of Israel. The call once more to return to the desert  to allow time and space for communion with God. John challenges the people especially the leadership of the time in stark no holds barred language. John calls for metonia - a change of heart - to prepare for the coming of the Messiah. It is a reminder that no matter who we are, we are all called to change. It doesnt matter what roles and rituals we foster, if we are not changed in our hearts we may not be saved.

The gospel calls us to prepare for the coming of Christ and maybe the need to have a "desert day" during December when we set aside some time to listen to the liturgy of Advent and how well are we hearing and listening to it; how well are we really preparing for the coming of Christ?

Liturgical odds and ends

Liturgy of the Hours - psalter week 2, 2nd week of Advent

Saints of the Week

December 9th - Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
December 10th - Bl Adolph Kolping
December 11th - St Damasus I (Pope)
December 12th - St Finnian also Our Lady of Guadalupe
December 13th - St Lucy
December 14th - St John of the Cross

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