The Word This Week

Throughout the first three weeks of Advent our focus is very clearly on the Second Coming of the Lord – not so much on the run up to Christmas (until the last week). If we view Advent as a preparation for Christmas these readings will make little sense – and neither will the figure of John the Baptist who appears today: if it’s about the preparation for Christmas, then John the Baptist, preaching after Jesus was born, is a confusing figure: but his role is to preach to us, as he did of old, and to prepare us for the (second) coming of the Lord. Today we have a very graphic reference to the end of time and the Second Coming in the reading from Saint Peter; it is a frightening picture, and so the first reading offers tender words of comfort to help us understand who is coming, and why we should be ready to meet him.

Today’s Scripture (Psalter: Week 2)

Baruch 5: 1–9
God means to show your splendour to every nation.
Response: Psalm 125
When the Lord delivered Zion from bondage,
it seemed like a dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter,
on our lips there were songs.

The heathens themselves said, ‘What marvels
the Lord worked for them!’
What marvels the Lord worked for us!
Indeed we were glad.

Deliver us, O Lord, from our bondage
as streams in dry land.
Those who are sowing in tears
will sing when they reap.

They go out, they go out, full of tears
carrying seed for the sowing:
They come back, they come back, full of song,
carrying their sheaves.

Philippians 1: 3 – 6, 8 – 11
Be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.
Acclamation for the Gospel:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
Prepare a way for the Lord,
make his paths straight,
and all mankind shall see the salvation of God.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!

Luke 3:1–6
All mankind shall see the salvation of God.

Read Today’s Readings on Catholic Online.

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