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2nd Sunday of Advent C

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Two-Minute Homily by Fr Adrian Farrelly (Archdiocese of Brisbane, Australia). “This close to Christmas we are to put on joy… Our reason for so doing is our recognition of the great things God has done for us.” (2021) Each week, Sunday Prep scours hundreds of web sites seeking out and curating material which extracts the essential meaning and most important aspects of Sunday’s readings.

 “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low.

Planning Tips by Fr. Lawrence Mick

A quick read through today’s Scripture texts might lead us to think this is Gaudete Sunday already — but that is a week away. The first reading speaks of God leading Israel in joy and the responsorial psalm picks up that theme. The second reading gives a reason for joy and confidence: “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Even though it is not yet Gaudete Sunday, these texts remind us that this whole season is one of joy, even if it is a muted joy.

The day of Christ Jesus (i.e., his second coming) has not yet arrived, so the Baptist challenges us to change our ways and prepare the way of the Lord. He proclaims a baptism of repentance and calls to us: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.”

So both joy and repentance mark this day. Those might seem contradictory until we realize that repentance leads us to joy. It is only when our lives are in accord with God’s will that we find true happiness and lasting joy.

John’s quoting of Isaiah about a voice crying out in the desert might link with these lines from the first reading: “The forests and every fragrant kind of tree have overshadowed Israel at God’s command; for God is leading Israel in joy by the light of his glory, with his mercy and justice for company.” While we humans have created vast wastelands and deserts around the globe, God holds out the promise of a renewal of creation to benefit God’s people. We need to remember that all people on the planet are God’s people. Planners might craft petitions that repent of our destructive ways and pray for the strength to renew the Earth so that its benefits can be shared by all people now and in future generations.

Fr. Lawrence Mick (1923-2017) was a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, columnist, workshop leader on parish renewal and the author of many books on the liturgy. Above Content taken from Cycle C Sunday Resources on the National Catholic Reporter web site; See also 2021 Upcoming Sundays

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Used with the permission of Pastor James Wetzstein at www.agnusday.org.

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