December 9, 2018: Second Sunday of Advent
Catholic Social Teaching: Life and Dignity of the Human Person
In some places a spiritual “desertification” has evidently come about, as the result of attempts by some societies to build without God or to eliminate their Christian roots. In those places “the Christian world is becoming sterile, and it is depleting itself like an overexploited ground, which transforms into a desert” .In other countries, violent opposition to Christianity forces Christians to hide their faith in their own beloved homeland. This is another painful kind of desert. But family and the workplace can also be a parched place where faith nonetheless has to be preserved and communicated. Yet “it is starting from the experience of this desert, from this void, that we can again discover the joy of believing, It’s vital importance for us men and women. In the desert we rediscover the value of what is essential for living; thus in today’s world there are innumerable signs, often expressed implicitly or negatively, of the thirst for God, for the ultimate meaning of life. And in the desert people of faith are needed who, by the example of their own lives, point out the way to the Promised Land and keep hope alive”. In these situations we are called to be living sources of water from which others can drink. At times, this becomes a heavy cross, but it was from the cross, from his pierced side, that our Lord gave himself to us as a source of living water. Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of hope! (86) Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis
First Reading: Baruch 5:1-9
Psalm: 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
Second Reading: Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11
Gospel: Luke 3:1-6
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Finally, with John the Baptist, the Holy Spirit begins the restoration to man of “the divine likeness,” prefiguring what he would achieve with and in Christ. John’s baptism was for repentance; baptism in water and the Spirit will be a new birth. (720) From the Daily Roman Missal, Introduction to the Second Sunday of Advent, Cycle C
Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: No references this week
The Lord has done great things for us. We’re forgiven, have His Word of eternal salvation, the gifts of mercy, grace and peace. Are we filled with His joy, a joy that is complete? Or does our demeanor replicate the expression of someone eating rhubarb prepared without sugar? Do we pout over trivialities insignificant in twenty-four hours, but forget eternity? Does joy fill our prayers or consternation over formalities of recitation sap the praise from our lips? Filled with joy that can supersede civil leaders reveling in controlling society in domains overseen by their pawns in leadership or religious leaders grounded in the quicksand of the law’s formalities while clueless of the Holy Spirit’s fervor. As John the Baptist modeled as the last prophet before the coming of the Messiah, God’s Word, the essence of joy touches hearts to act, voices to speak to penetrate the earthly domain of civil and religious leaders who feel they control everything and everybody. As John the Baptist was a voice crying out in the desert, when we speak and live with God’s joy, we may feel we exist in a disassociated, parched land. But our mindset should view the paradigm as a desert, dry and ready to absorb the joy. We need to express the joy in abundance, so the desert transforms into lush foliage. That richness makes crooked paths straight, fills valleys of despair, challenging mountains cropped to manageable portions to smooth rough ways of competitiveness, greed, addictions, prejudice and apathy. All manifestations of the most expedient embrace of God. This should be the joy of every prayer because of our partnership with the Gospel for the good work begun in us will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. A journey with an increase in love and knowledge of the Lord, with every kind of perception. Perception to discern what possesses spiritual value and dismiss rigid mores dismissing dialogue as fostering affirmation of relativism. For in actuality our perception must not negate, dismiss or slander anyone, but be present and proclaim the joy of the Lord we treasure and must share with others compassionately.
Individual Reflection: Luke 3:1-6
Plan to share with your parish the World Day of Peace message for 2019 and dialogue on how the parish community might accentuate the theme in their ministries: “..encouraging dialogue between figures of society, among generations and among cultures. There is no peace without mutual trust…”
Family Reflection: Psalm 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
How is your family filled with the joy of the Lord? How do you share the joy?
Let eco friendly Advent activities be prayerful expressions:
Blogs to Visit:
As we reflect upon Mary’s presence in the mysteries of the Rosary, we are blessed to know her. For her journey, a timeless trek, calls us to surrender, continuing conversion, humbleness and justice now.
Weekly lectionary reflections, for faith sharing groups, parish bulletins, newsletters or personal prayer, from the synergy of the Word we hear and the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching.
Catholic Social Teaching offers seven principles for upholding life in our thoughts, decisions and actions.
How we do Catholic Social Teaching.
Creation sustainability ministry resources in the spirit of the St Francis Pledge.
Social Ministry Resources Engaging Parishes: Monthly and liturgical seasons resources for use with parish websites, bulletins and newsletters
List one or two upcoming events, legislative action alerts or social justice websites
By Barb Born December 6, 2018 The reflection maybe used in parish bulletins, newsletters or for faith sharing groups without copyright concern.