December 3, 2011

2nd Sunday of Advent - B (December 4, 2011)


Our Task: Preparing the Way for the King

It's probably helpful to link this Sunday's Gospel with the Gospel we listened to a week ago from Mark 13: 33-37. There, "the Lord of the house" so trusts us that when "he leaves home, [he] places his servants in charge, each with his own work."

Today, in the words of John the Baptist quoting the prophet, God Himself speaks to us. [1] And God invites us to prepare the way for the Kingdom established by the Messiah in the power of the Holy Spirit. There is the work for Christ's followers, who have been baptized, not with water, but with the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah the Prophet spoke to the people of Israel who were then in exile that their nation will one day be the place where God's glory shines forth (Isaiah 40: 1-5). [2] That was the message for a people with no hope.

The prophet's message is now applied to us, a people who have been redeemed! And we are not preparing the way for any earthly rule, but the Kingdom of the Christ anointed by God's Holy Spirit!

[1] Francis J. Moloney, The Gospel of Mark: A Commentary. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2002; p. 32.
[2] Footnote for Mark 1: 2-3 in The New American Bible, Revised Edition (NABRE), 2011.

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