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Second Sunday of Advent

Second Sunday of Advent

Living in our “information culture” makes us very dependent on those who craft the hundreds of media messages that bombard us daily. From the e-mail on our computers to the ads we see and hear to the news reports we digest—we’re at the mercy of the messengers who craft them. Are they credible? Which of them do we trust? We look for reliability in the familiar faces we see and voices we hear.

It’s no wonder people often identify the news reports by the presenter rather than the news agency. We often say, “Did you hear what Dan Rather said last night?” or “Did you listen to Bill O’Reilly?” Or “Connie Chung?” Or “Rush Limbaugh?”

Today’s Advent readings find us listening to hope-filled messages with an emphasis on the one who brings the message:

— Isaiah the prophet, “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, cautioning us to treat the message of God’s intervention seriously: Even though the promised events have not yet come to pass, we can rely on the hope-filled message of Christ’s return in glory. We should live accordingly, always in readiness.

If skepticism in the face of the many disappointments we face in the world has begun to invade our religious life, today’s a good time to refocus our hopes. Let the ringing truth delivered by God’s messengers echo in our hearts today, and let the message of repentance move us as well.

I’m Father Greg Friedman, with the “Sunday Soundbite” for St. Anthony Messenger Press, on the Web at