Daily Email

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Comfort Us. The Second Sunday of Advent 2020

                                                                   Comfort Us. 

The Second Sunday of Advent 2020

www.johnpredmoresj.com | predmore.blogspot.com

predmoresj@yahoo.com | 617.510.9673

December 6, 2020

Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11; Psalm 85; 2 Peter 3:8-14; Mark 1:1-8



The first reading sums it up well: We need God to comfort us, and to reassure us that our collective suffering is coming to an end. We need God to speak to us tenderly and with gentleness because this has been a most difficult year, one long Advent, one long season of waiting and praying and doing what’s right, and we hope God comes to rescue us. We need a Savior who will fill in the valleys, lower those mountaintops, make the desert bloom again, so that our arduous path can be made straight and we can return from isolation can come to its end. 


We have done our best to follow protocols and we have made many adjustments in our routines for safety’s sake, and yet this time was been wearying. It is difficult not to embrace a loved one, to see someone’s mask-less smile, to provide a healing touch to someone who is in pain, is ill, or dying. We tried to protect those for whom we are responsible, and it is frightening to let our young ones out of the house each morning. We want to make a better world upon our return and we want our isolation to end. Loneliness is the great suffering of our day, even though we are surrounding by many loving, caring, supportive people. We value each other highly, and our loneliness results from our wondering at times if God truly is there for us.


This Advent we have an opportunity to help our loneliness disappear. We have to connect with ourselves by sitting down, taking in and letting out controlled breaths, and becoming mindful of the present moment. Advent gives our senses richness in the Advent songs we play, the cards we write, the twinkling lights we gaze upon, the aromas that arise from kitchens. We sit and we become aware of the present moment – where God is heard. We connect with ourselves, to that special place inside us that is warm, comforting, safe, and fulfilled. It is the place where we are truly at home with ourselves because it is where our real self encounters God. Home is never far away from us. Home is inside of us. It requires that we sit down, breathe deliberately, and accept our situation as it is. This becomes our practice of freedom. Real freedom comes when we are able to release our suffering and come home. Home is always there for us.


John the Baptist points the way home. The prophet Isaiah tells us we will see the mysterious signs to be guided home. Home is within our grasp, and when we find our home, we will find God right by our side, there to comfort us, to speak tender words of care, to let us know that God has never left, to promise that God will be made manifest in mystery again at the Incarnation, and to convince us that we are loved, lovable, cherished, and held close to God’s heart. 


Scripture for Daily Mass


First Reading:

Monday: (Isaiah 35) Here is your God, he comes with vindication. The eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf will be cleared.


Tuesday: (Isaiah 40) Give comfort to my people. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated.


Wednesday: (Isaiah 40) Lift up your eyes on high and see who has created these things. Do you not know? Have you not heard?


Thursday: (Genesis 3) After Adam ate of the tree, God called to him, “Where are you?” I heard you were in the garden, but I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid myself.   


Friday (Isaiah 48) I, the Lord, will teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go. Hearken to my commandments.


Saturday (Sirach 48) A prophet named Elijah appeared whose words were as a flaming furnace. By the Lord’s word, he shut up the heavens and brought down fire three times.



Monday: (Luke 5) After Jesus healed the man on a stretcher, he forgave his sins. The scribes and Pharisees protested and asked, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies?”


Tuesday: (Matthew 18) If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them is lost, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray?


Wednesday (Matthew 11) Come to me all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart.


Thursday (Luke 1) The angel Gabriel was sent to a virgin betrothed to Joseph to announce that the Holy Spirit would overpower her and she would conceive a son.  


Friday (Matthew 11) How shall I consider you? I played a dirge for you and you would not mourn; I played a flute for you and you would not dance.


Saturday (Matthew 17) As Jesus came down the mountain, the disciples asked, “Why do they say Elijah must come first?” Elijah has come and will indeed come to restore all things.


Saints of the Week


December 6: Nicholas, bishop (d. 350), lived in southwest Turkey and was imprisoned during the Diocletian persecution. He attended the Council of Nicaea in 324. Since there are many stories of his good deeds, generous charity, and remarkable pastoral care, his character became the foundation for the image of Santa Claus.


December 7: Ambrose, bishop and doctor (339-397) was a Roman governor who fairly mediated an episcopal election in Milan. He was then acclaimed their bishop even though he was not baptized. He baptized Augustine in 386 and is doctor of the church because of his preaching, teaching and influential ways of being a pastor.


December 8: The Immaculate Conception of Mary is celebrated today, which is nine months before her birth in September. The Immaculate Conception prepares her to become the mother of the Lord. Scripture tells of the annunciation to Mary by the angel Gabriel. Mary's assent to be open to God's plan makes our salvation possible.


December 9: Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (1474-1548) was a poor, simple, indigenous man who was visited by Mary in 1531. She instructed him to build a church at Guadalupe near Mexico City. During another visit, she told him to present flowers to the bishop. When he did, the flowers fell from his cape to reveal an image of Mary that is still revered today.


December 12: The feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is celebrated to remember the four apparitions to Juan Diego in 1531 near Mexico City shortly after the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs. Mary appeared as a native Mexican princess and her image is imprinted on a cloak that was presented to the bishop. 


This Week in Jesuit History


  • Dec. 6, 1618: In Naples, the Jesuits were blamed for proposing to the Viceroy that a solemn feast should be held in honor of the Immaculate Conception and that priests should make a public pledge defend the doctrine. This was regarded as a novelty not to be encouraged. 
  • Dec. 7, 1649: Charles Garnier was martyred in Etarita, Canada, as a missionary to the Petun Indians, among whom he died during an Iroquois attack. 
  • Dec. 8, 1984: Walter Ciszek, prisoner in Russia from 1939 to 1963, died. 
  • Dec. 9, 1741: At Paris, Fr. Charles Poree died. He was a famous master of rhetoric. Nineteen of his pupils were admitted into the French Academy, including Voltaire, who, in spite of his impiety, always felt an affectionate regard for his old master. 
  • Dec 10, 1548. The general of the Dominicans wrote in defense of the Society of Jesus upon seeing it attacked in Spain by Melchior Cano and others. 
  • Dec 11, 1686. At Rome, Fr. Charles de Noyelle, a Belgian, died as the 12th general of the Society. 
  • Dec 12, 1661. In the College of Clermont, Paris, Fr. James Caret publicly defended the doctrine of papal infallibility, causing great excitement among the Gallicans and Jansenists.

No comments:

Post a Comment