2nd Sunday of Advent
Mark 1:1-8. Prepare a Way for the Lord
This year, Advent is as short as it can be. The season changes in length depending on which day of the week Christmas falls on, and this year, it is just three weeks and one day long – the final Sunday of Advent is Chrismas Eve, so we have a lot to pack into few days
Beginning the Church’s liturgical year, Advent (from, “ad-venire” in Latin or “to come to”) is the season encompassing the four Sundays (and weekdays) leading up to the celebration of Christmas
The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas. The final days of Advent, from December 17 to December 24, focus particularly on our preparation for the celebrations of the Nativity of our Lord (Christmas).
Advent devotions including the Advent Wreath remind us of the meaning of the season. Advent calendars can help us fully enter in to the season with daily activity and prayer suggestions for the season.
Advent is the first season of the Church’s year. It aims to set the tone for the whole year, not primarily preparing for Christmas, but by inviting us to reassess the place of God in our lives. The liturgy for each Sunday of Advent marks out for us a journey which helps us renew ourselves, and grow closer to God. The Sundays are like ‘milestones’ on our Advent journey.
The themes don’t vary much from year to year.
1st Sunday of Advent: Vision, hope. Stay awake. Be ready for the return of the Son of Man. “Jesus said to his disciples: ‘And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake!’” (From Mark 13:33-37)
2nd Sunday of Advent: Vision of the nearness of God. John the Baptist preparing the Way for the Lord
3rd Sunday of Advent: John the Baptist, this time defining himself, first in terms of who he is NOT, and then in terms of the One for whom he has come to prepare the way
4th Sunday of Advent: The prophetic sign that God is with us. Annunciation of the forthcoming birth of Jesus – this year, by the angel Gabriel to Mary.