2nd Sunday of Advent
Second Sunday of Advent, Lighting of the Advent Wreath
Today is the second Sunday of Advent when we light the first two purple candles, the second called the “Bethlehem Candle”, as a reminder of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.
All of today’s readings seem to address our current world situation. We are invited to open our hearts to welcome Jesus, in despite events in the world causing anxiety and sadness. The first reading is powerful in this regard. The opening lines of Isaiah speak about being comforted. By remaining rooted in deep faith, we can be a beacon of light and comfort others.
Today’s Gospel Acclamation (Luke 3:4-6) makes a simple declaration: “Prepare the way of the Lord.” And in today’s Gospel (Mark 1:1-8), we are shown the appearance of John the Baptist in the desert, sent to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus Christ.
John’s role in scripture can really be described as “preparer.” He called people to repentance for the forgiveness of their sins. His invitation is for us to transform our lives to that we can recognize God when he comes in human form. What must I do to prepare my heart for Jesus? This time of Advent provides us with a chance for reconciliation, a time to cleanse our hearts and to seek forgiveness.
As we enter this second week of Advent, let the candles on the Advent wreath help us to brighten the season, as darkness is overcome by the light.
Let us Pray
With each of these candles that is lighted,
may we rekindle within ourselves the desire
to prepare a way for the birth of Christ.
With each new candle that is lighted,
may the flame of Christ’s coming
grow brighter and brighter
so that this Christmas may see
a fresh and ever-green coming of the Lord of Light
into each of our hearts
and into our whole world.
Hays, Edward. Prayers for the Domestic Church (Forest of Peace Publishing, 1979)