2nd Sunday of Advent - A
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2nd Sunday of Advent - A

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Dear brothers and sisters,

Dear brothers and sisters,

We must know the identity of the Messiah, to prepare better for his coming and experience peace in the process.

Fr. Cielo

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2nd Sunday of Advent - A 2nd Sunday of Advent - A Presentation Transcript

  • Welcome to our Bible Study 2nd Sunday of Advent A 8 December 2013 In preparation for this Sunday’s Liturgy In aid of focusing our homilies and sharing Prepared by Fr. Cielo R. Almazan, OFM
  • 1st reading: Isaiah 11,1-10  1 On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. 2 The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, 3 and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD. Not by appearance shall he judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide, 4 But he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land's afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. 5 Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips. 6 Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; The calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them. 7 The cow and the bear shall be neighbors, together their young shall rest; the lion shall eat hay like the ox. 8 The baby shall play by the cobra's den, and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair. 9 There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea. 10 On that day, the root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, the Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious.
  • 1st reading: Isaiah 11,1-10  1 On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. 2 The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, 3 and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD. Not by appearance shall he judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide, 4 But he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land's afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. 5 Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips. 6 Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; The calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them. 7 The cow and the bear shall be neighbors, together their young shall rest; the lion shall eat hay like the ox. 8 The baby shall play by the cobra's den, and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair. 9 There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea. 10 On that day, the root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, the Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious. The focus is on the shoot of Jesse.
  • 1st reading: Isaiah 11,1-10 A simple outline! The child to be born (Messiah)  1 On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. 2 The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, 3 and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD. The man (child) will administer justice  Not by appearance shall he judge, nor by hearsay shall he decide, 4 But he shall judge the poor with justice, and decide aright for the land's afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. 5 Justice shall be the band around his waist, and faithfulness a belt upon his hips. The result: total peace, no harm  Animal world  6 Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; The calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them. 7 The cow and the bear shall be neighbors, together their young shall rest; the lion shall eat hay like the ox.  Man and animals  8 The baby shall play by the cobra's den, and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair.     Nature, cosmos 9 There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea. Gentiles 10 On that day, the root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, the Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious.
  • 1st reading: Isaiah 11,1-10 The child to be born (Messiah)  1 On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, // and from his roots a bud shall blossom. (parallelism) 2 The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD, 3 and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD. Commentary  In v.1, Isaiah predicts that a strong leader will be born. (Jesse is the father of David, Ruth 4,22).  V.2 informs us that the Spirit of the Lord will be upon him.  This is the same spirit that animates the life of the prophets and anointed kings. It gives power and courage.  It gives wisdom in terms of decision making (spirit of wisdom) and will give consideration to the weak (spirit of understanding).  It will have attentive ears and heart, consoling encounter with him (spirit of counsel)  It will give energy, builds up self-esteem and selfconfidence (spirit of strength)  It will be well-informed, knows all sides, total information (spirit of knowledge)  It teaches reverence, discipline and respect to the Lord, dares not to test him /experiment on him, to make fun of him (spirit of the fear of the Lord)  The fear of the Lord is used 2x. This man [this shoot] means business.
  • The man (child) will administer justice  Not by appearance shall he judge, // nor by hearsay shall he decide,  4 But he shall judge the poor with justice // and decide aright for the land's afflicted. He shall strike the ruthless with the rod of his mouth, // and with the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. 5 Justice shall be the band around his waist, // and faithfulness a belt upon his hips.  In v.3b when he judges, his criteria will not be     externals, ie, looks, smell, accessories, outfit, hairdo. His basis will not be sabi-sabi, sumbong or hearsay. He wants high quality information [done in good faith, complete, not misinterpretations, not reports done with malice] and from a reliable source of information, not just from anyone else. He knows on whom to listen to. In v.4, he will right the wrong done to the poor. He will restore their rights. He will unburden those who are already suffering unjustly. He will just say a word and justice will be done to the cruel and heartless. His powerful words carry swift justice [punishment] to evildoers, to those who do injustice to the poor. In v.5, he has no other business than to give justice to the poor and the afflicted, and faithfulness to his chosen ones. The sight of him reminds us of justice and faithfulness. This paragraph is full of parallelisms as in the other texts of Isaiah.
  • The result: total peace, no harm, no more incompatibilities (shalom) Animal world  6 Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; The calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them. 7 The cow and the bear shall be neighbors, together their young shall rest; the lion shall eat hay like the ox. Man and animals  8 The baby shall play by the cobra's den, and the child lay his hand on the adder's lair. Jerusalem  9 There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea.  Gentiles  10 On that day, the root of Jesse, set up as a signal for the nations, the Gentiles shall seek out, for his dwelling shall be glorious.  Vv.6-7 talk of harmony in     the animal world. V.8 talks of harmony of humans and animals. V.9 declares that Jerusalem will be safe. Everybody may come in. Knowledge of the Lord keeps all in harmony. (Ignorance of him creates chaos, conflict, violence and injustices). In v.10, his leadership will bring about total peace.
  • Reflections on the 1st reading  The 1st reading announces the greatness of the one who       is to be born. He is well equipped (with the spirit of God). He is coming for a big mission: to bring justice to the poor, to punish the wicked, and to establish security. As Christians, we attribute this man (shoot of Jesse) to Jesus Christ. All the attributes we find in the text is applicable to Jesus. Isaiah prophesies the coming of Jesus. He introduces him to us, expectant readers, who want justice, righteousness, faithfulness, harmony and security in our land. The reading gives hope to the lowly, warning to the corrupt.
  • Resp. Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17  R. (cf. 7) Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.  1 O God, with your judgment endow the king, and with your justice, the king’s son; 2 he shall govern your people with justice and your afflicted ones with judgment.  7 Justice shall flower in his days, and profound peace, till the moon be no more. 8 May he rule from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.  12 For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out, and the afflicted when he has no one to help him. 13 He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor; the lives of the poor he shall save.  17 May his name be blessed forever; as long as the sun his name shall remain. In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed; all the nations shall proclaim his happiness.
  • Resp. Ps 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17  R. (cf. 7) Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.  1 O God, with your judgment endow the king, and with your justice, the king’s son; 2 he shall govern your people with justice and your afflicted ones with judgment.  7 Justice shall flower in his days, and profound peace, till the moon be no more. 8 May he rule from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.  12 For he shall rescue the poor when he cries out, and the afflicted when he has no one to help him. 13 He shall have pity for the lowly and the poor; the lives of the poor he shall save.  17 May his name be blessed forever; as long as the sun his name shall remain. In him shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed; all the nations shall proclaim his happiness. Commentary  V.1 is a prayer for the king and his son that they may be endowed with justice.  In this way, they will rule with justice and help the poor. V.2  V.7 indicates that his rule of justice is timeless (for ever).  V.8 indicates that his rule of justice extends over all the earth.  Vv.12-13 indicate that he has a big heart to the poor, afflicted and lowly.  V.17 expresses a good wish to this just ruler (to have a lasting just rule).  Because of him, all peoples will be blessed and will proclaim their joy.
  • Reflections on the Psalm  A just ruler evokes a sense of hope.  He prioritizes the poor, the oppressed, the afflicted and the lowly.  He gives them justice (what has been denied from them by the unjust rulers).  The psalm fits the description of the coming Messiah.  In this season of Advent, we rejoice because we believe Jesus comes to bring us justice.
  • 2nd reading: Romans 15,4-9  4 Whatever was written previously was written for our instruction, that by endurance and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to think in harmony with one another, in keeping with Christ Jesus, 6 that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God. 8 For I say that Christ became a minister of the circumcised to show God's truthfulness, to confirm the promises to the patriarchs, 9 but so that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written: "Therefore, I will praise you among the Gentiles and sing praises to your name."
  • 2nd reading: Romans 15,4-9  4 Whatever was written previously was written for our instruction, that by endurance and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. 5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to think in harmony with one another, in keeping with Christ Jesus, 6 that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God. 8 For I say that Christ became a minister of the circumcised to show God's truthfulness, to confirm the promises to the patriarchs, 9 but so that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written: "Therefore, I will praise you among the Gentiles and sing praises to your name." The focus is on unity and harmony.
  • 2nd reading: Romans 15,4-9 A simple outline! Writings of Old (OT)  4 Whatever was written previously was written for our instruction, that by endurance and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. Wish of Paul: unity and harmony of believers  5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to think in harmony with one another, in keeping with Christ Jesus, 6 that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Exhortation to welcome one another  7 Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God. 8 For I say that Christ became a minister of the circumcised to show God's truthfulness, to confirm the promises to the patriarchs, 9 but so that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written: "Therefore, I will praise you among the Gentiles and sing praises to your name."
  • 2nd reading: Romans 15,4-9 Writings of Old (OT)  4 Whatever was written previously was written for our instruction, that by endurance and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. Wish of Paul: unity and harmony of believers  5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to think in harmony with one another, in keeping with Christ Jesus, 6 that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Exhortation to welcome one another  7 Welcome one another, then, as Christ welcomed you, for the glory of God. 8 For I say that Christ became a minister of the circumcised to show God's truthfulness, to confirm the promises to the patriarchs, 9 but so that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written: "Therefore, I will praise you among the Gentiles and sing praises to your name." Commentary  V.4 refers to the Torah. The Torah is for instruction. The sacred scriptures are written to encourage us and to train us to endure.  The by-product of endurance and encouragement is hope.  V.5 picks up the 2 points of v.4, namely; endurance and encouragement. Paul does this with a different purpose:   To have harmony To glorify God with one accord and one voice (unity) v.6.  V.7 exhorts the Christians to welcome one another. (No harmony is possible without a welcoming attitude.)  In vv.8-9, Christ has served the Jews (circumcised) to show that God is true and has fulfilled his promises.  As a result, the Gentiles (non-Jews) give praise to God, for his mercy.
  • Reflections on the 2nd reading  The reading teaches us how to attain unity and harmony.  We can possess them if we listen to the voice of God recorded in the Bible.  Do you read the Bible?  If we listen to voices other than God’s, we will never attain unity and harmony.  In our meetings, when individuals talk, where do their ideas come from? From God or from themselves?
  • Gospel reading: Matthew 3,1-12  1 In those days John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea 2 (and) saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" 3 It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: "A voice of one crying out in the desert, 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.'" 4 John wore clothing made of camel's hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him 6 and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. 7 When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. 9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 10 Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I.I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."
  • Gospel reading: Matthew 3,1-12  1 In those days John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea 2 (and) saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" 3 It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: "A voice of one crying out in the desert, 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.'" 4 John wore clothing made of camel's hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him 6 and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. 7 When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. 9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 10 Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. 11 I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I.I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire." The focus is on repentance.
  • Gospelpreaching reading: Matthew 3,1-12 John the Baptist’s e! le outlin A simp 1 In those days John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea 2 (and) saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" 3 It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: "A voice of one crying out in the desert, 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.'" 4 John wore clothing made of camel's hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. Response of the people (internal)  5 At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him 6 and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. Fruits of repentance (external manifestation)  7 When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. 9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 10 Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. The coming of the Lord  11 I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire. His coming to give judgment  12 His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire." 
  • Gospel reading: Matthew 3,1-12 John the Baptist’s preaching  1 In those days John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea 2 (and) saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" 3 It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: "A voice of one crying out in the desert, 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.'" 4 John wore clothing made of camel's hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. Response of people (internal)  5 At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him 6 and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. Commentary  John the Baptist (JB) preaches     repentance. The reason for repentance: the kingdom of heaven is at hand. V.2 Note: Matthew avoids mentioning the name of God (he talks of the kingdom of heaven, not kingdom of God). In v.3, Matthew interprets Isaiah’s prophesy as fulfilled in JB. This is an assertion of the Christian right to interpret OT texts. Mt does this many times.  “Prepare ye // make straight…”  V.4 describes John’s attire: camel’s hair, leather belt, exotic food.  Vv.5-6 show the positive response of ordinary people, not just a few, but a big crowd (all Judea, whole region).
  • Fruits of repentance (external)  7 When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. 9 And do not presume to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 10 Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. The coming of the Lord  11 I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire. His coming to give judgment  12 His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."  V.7 indicates the many Pharisees and          Sadducees going for baptism. They too repent. The Pharisees and the Sadducees are both religious groups but different from each other. JB’s preaching involves judgment for the unrepentant. In v.8, JB challenges them to show their sincerity (good fruit). In v.9, salvation does not come from affinity to Abraham. V.10 affirms the importance of bearing good fruit, not just a fruit without quality. There is judgment for not bearing good fruit. V.11 introduces the coming of the Messiah, who is mightier than JB. JB is not worthy to be his servant. JB baptizes with water; Jesus with Holy Spirit and fire (more dynamic, dramatic, more powerful, more consuming)  V.12 brings back judgment raised in v.10.
  • Reflections on the gospel reading  In this season of Advent, God calls us to repentance.  Repentance is turning away from sin and doing what is good.  God demands that we bear good fruits.  Without repentance (metonoia), we cannot welcome the Lord. We are not worthy to appear before him.
  • Tying the 3 readings and the Psalm  The first reading announces the coming of the great one to rule the world.  The psalm celebrates the coming of the just Messiah.  The second reading reminds the Christians to live in unity and harmony (for the coming of the Lord).  The gospel reading is emphatic on repentance (to prepare the way) to avoid judgment.
  • How to develop your homily / sharing  How do we prepare for Christmas, for the coming of the Lord? Shopping, decors, caroling, e-cards, gift-giving, food, parties, etc.  How should we prepare according to the readings?  We prepare according to what we know about who is coming.  Our preparations depend on how much we know / believe / consider / love the one who is coming.   Who is coming to us that we should prepare seriously with joy and enthusiasm in this season of Advent?  According to the 1st reading, the one who is coming is:  A leader, of royal descent, possesses the spirit of God, spirit of wisdom, understanding, knowledge, etc.  A judge to reward the good and punish the wicked.
  •  According to the second reading, he comes from God and      Father, who desires unity and harmony. He represents God in dealing with the Gentiles. He ministers the uncircumcised (Gentiles, nations). He fulfills the promises of God made to our fathers (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob). According to the gospel reading, the one who is coming is Jesus himself, the one who establishes the kingdom of God (of heaven). He is God-sent, authorized by God to impose his rule in the world. He is mightier than John the Baptist, who has been mighty and charismatic enough to draw crowds from all walks of life, including many religious intellectuals and spiritual leaders.
  •  In other words, in modern parlance, the one who is coming is much greater than Obama, Ophrah, Billy Gates, Queen Elizabeth and the kings and queens of our times.  Jesus Christ is far greater than any of the presidents, prime ministers, senators, congressmen, cabinet members, and 5-star generals.  Jesus Christ is greater than any high paying CEO, BOT chairpersons, etc.  Jesus Christ is greater than Cardinal Rosales, the CBCP, the AMRSP, Pope Benedict XVI and your priests.
  •  So, who are we not to prepare for his coming?  Who are we to take his coming for granted?  He is coming to change the world, to impose God’s terms, to establish his kingdom awarding the good and punishing the wicked.  Who are we not to repent and to bow down before his presence?  Who are we not to tremble at his words and commands?
  •  When we realize who Jesus really is, and what he is up to, our preparations will take a different direction. More emphasis on spiritual renewal, on human relationships, on justice, peace and harmony…  Less emphasis on externals (pormahan, pagandahan)   Each God-fearing head of the family will see to it that his/her family will celebrate a meaningful and joyful Christmas through the recognition of this GREAT ONE in the eucharist.
  •  In the eucharist, we humbly recognize the presence of God in our midst.  In the eucharist, we concede that Jesus must take hold of our lives.  In the eucharist, we submit ourselves to God’s laws and decrees.  The eucharist spares us from God’s judgment.
  • Our Context of Sin and Grace  Materialism  Hedonism  Advent retreats and  Consumerism  Ignorance of Christ, due      to failure to study the gospel No time to examine oneself Bad confession Unrepentant (he will do it again) False leaders      recollections Repentance, metanoia Good confession Joins advocacies Strong sense of justice, righteousness and equity Spiritually prepared to meet God Ready to die
  • Suggested Songs  Make Straight the Path  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XWlq2ouoEMg  The King of Glory  O Come Emmanuel