The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. A voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.”
by Father Greg Friedman, OFM
Today we’re dependent on those responsible for the media messages that bombard us. How credible are those who craft our social media and television news? Who can we trust?
It’s no wonder people often identify the news by the presenter. When TV news was coming of age, it was Walter Cronkite. Today…well, cable news and podcasts offer us a wide range of personalities and commentators.
Today’s Advent readings also offer us hope-filled messages from various messengers:
— the Prophet Isaiah, “a voice, crying in the wilderness”;
— Zion or Jerusalem, God’s holy city, heralding God’s approach with power;
— John the Baptist, echoing Isaiah, calling for repentance to prepare the way for the Messiah.
And the author of the second reading, who cautions us to treat the message of God’s intervention seriously: Although Christ’s second coming is yet to occur, we can rely on the hope-filled message of Christ’s return in glory. We must always live in readiness.
If the news we consume threatens to make skeptics of us all, today’s liturgy is a good time to refocus. Let the truth delivered by God’s messengers move us to genuine repentance.
by Father Dan Kroger, OFM
Why does the first reading (Is 40:1-5, 9-11) say “Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God?”
What happened to the people that Isaiah receives this message?
What comparison does Isaiah use for God? God is like what? (see last two lines this reading?)
In the second reading (2Pt 3:8-14), Peter reminds his readers that the day of the Lord will come like a thief. What will happen?
What does the coming of the Lord demand in terms of our conduct?
The Gospel of Mark starts with a quote from Isaiah. What is the message?
What did John the Baptist proclaim?
Why were the people going out to John?
by Susan Hines-Brigger
Water plays an important part in this week’s Gospel. Water also played a key role in our baptisms. But it is also important for so many other things. Make a list of all the ways that we use water in our lives. Then think of ways that we can conserve some of that water.
Read about Catholic Relief Service’s Water Security program at crs.org/water. Look into ways that you can help.