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Increase your Goodness The Second Sunday of Advent 2021

Increase your Goodness

The Second Sunday of Advent 2021

December 5, 2021

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Baruch 5:1-9; Psalm 126; Philippians 1:4-11; Luke 3:1-6


We often think of Advent as peaceful, calm, harmonious times of waiting knowing that our salvation is near. John the Baptist reminds us that Advent is filled with turbulence, but that we are to focus upon the promise of the road made straight and the way more easily traveled. The Baptist preached that we should undergo a metanoia in preparation for meeting the Lord, that we should reform our lives, prepare our hearts for a major conversion. With Jesus, most eloquently expressed through Saint Paul, the message takes a turn, as he emphasizes a life of mercy and compassion. 


Listen again to the sentiments in Paul’s word. My Advent gift to you is that this prayer be ours. He writes, “I pray always with joy” for you, all of you, because you are a believer, and that God is near to you. Paul certainly was filled with affection for the people of Philippi. This is our prayer for you today, that we be filled with the same level of affection and care for you, just because of the kind people you are, and that you have done tremendous work in your faith life. When we pray for each other with such goodwill, I can only imagine how much lighter is the heart of God.


Paul’s prayer is what I want to be able to say in my own prayer about you and my loved ones: that I am proud to see your love may increase ever more and more, because that is what makes life meaningful and happy. I can see your goodness and I thank Jesus Christ for the many ways he is laboring on your behalf, even when you might not know it or see it. I feel proud when I see the way your love increases, which then enhances your happiness. I simply can hold you up in prayer and say to the Lord: Look at these people, your friends. Look at their goodness and lovableness. Let me see you gaze upon them in wonder and admiration. I am pleased to know them. When I present you to Christ, I feel satisfied with my prayer. 


I want you to be like Jerusalem in the first reading: I want you to shed your robe of mourning and misery or whatever concerns you have, and put on the splendor of glory from God. I want you to see your goodness, for you to see that you are a light shining in the darkness, and that you can see all the splendor God wants you to know. My friends, may your love continue to increase, may you see the mysteries of God’s work, and may you hold firmly onto the hope that your God wants to be by your side. 

Scripture for Daily Mass


Monday: (Isaiah 35) The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom. They will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song. The glory of Lebanon will be given to them, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; They will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God.

Tuesday: (Isaiah 40) Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated; Indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD double for all her sins.


Wednesday: (Genesis 3) After the man, Adam, had eaten of the tree, the LORD God called to the man and asked him, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden; but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself.” Then he asked, “Who told you that you were naked?


Thursday: (Isaiah 41) I am the LORD, your God, who grasp your right hand; It is I who say to you, “Fear not, I will help you.” Fear not, O worm Jacob, O maggot Israel; I will help you, says the LORD; your redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.


Friday (Isaiah 48) I, the LORD, your God, teach you what is for your good, and lead you on the way you should go. If you would hearken to my commandments, your prosperity would be like a river, and your vindication like the waves of the sea.


Saturday (Sirach 48) In those days, like a fire there appeared the prophet Elijah whose words were as a flaming furnace. Their staff of bread he shattered, in his zeal he reduced them to straits; By the Lord’s word he shut up the heavens and three times brought down fire.



Monday: (Luke 5) One day as Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there, and the power of the Lord was with him for healing. And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed.


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


Wednesday (Luke 1) The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”


Thursday (Matthew 11) From the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent are taking it by force. All the prophets and the law prophesied up to the time of John. 


Friday (Matthew 11) “To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.’  


Saturday (Matthew 17) “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” He said in reply, “Elijah will indeed come and restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased. 


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.


This Week in Jesuit History


  • December. 5, 1584: By his bull Omnipotentis Dei, Pope Gregory XIII gave the title of Primaria to Our Lady's Sodality established in the Roman College in 1564, and empowered it to aggregate other similar sodalities. 
  • December. 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. 
  • December. 7, 1649: Charles Garnier was martyred in Etarita, Canada, as a missionary to the Petun Indians, among whom he died during an Iroquois attack. 
  • December. 8, 1984: Walter Ciszek, prisoner in Russia from 1939 to 1963, died. 
  • December. 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. 
  • December 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. 

December 11, 1686. At Rome, Fr. Charles de Noyelle, a Belgian, died as the 12th general of the Society. 

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