5 December 2021
Second Sunday of Advent (C)
Psalm 126 (125)
Gospel: Luke 3:1-6
In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judaea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the lands of Ituraea and Trachonitis, Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the pontificate of Annas and Caiaphas the word of God came to John son of Zechariah, in the wilderness.
He went through the whole Jordan district proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the sayings of the prophet Isaiah:
A voice cries in the wilderness: Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley will be filled in, every mountain and hill be laid low, winding ways will be straightened and rough roads made smooth. And all mankind shall see the salvation of God.’
Collect prayer: Almighty and merciful God, may no earthly undertaking hinder those
who set out in haste to meet your Son, but may our learning of heavenly wisdom gain us admittance to his company..
Readings Next Sunday (Third Sunday of Advent)
- Zephaniah 3:14-18a
- Canticle: Isaiah 12:2-3.4bcd.5-6
- Philippians 4:4-7
- Luke 3:10-18
Saints of the Week
- 6 Mon St Nicholas of Bari.
- 6 Tue St Ambrose
- 8 Wed Immaculate Conception of the BVM.
We don’t need Conversion… don’t we?
On this second Sunday of Advent, the Liturgy places us in the school of John the Baptist, who preached “a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins”. Perhaps we ask ourselves, “Why do we have to convert? Conversion is about an atheist who becomes a believer or a sinner who becomes just. But we don’t need it. We are already Christians. So we are okay”. But this isn’t true. In thinking like this, we don’t realize that it is precisely because of this presumption — that we are Christians, that everyone is good, that we’re okay — that we must convert: from the supposition that, all things considered, things are fine as they are and we don’t need any kind of conversion. But let us ask ourselves: is it true that in the various situations and circumstances of life, we have within us the same feelings that Jesus has? Is it true that we feel as Christ feels? For example, when we suffer some wrongdoing or some insult, do we manage to react without animosity and to forgive from the heart those who apologize to us? How difficult it is to forgive! “You’re going to pay for this” — that phrase comes from inside! When we are called to share joys or sorrows, do we know how to sincerely weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice? When we should express our faith, do we know how to do it with courage and simplicity, without being ashamed of the Gospel? Thus we can ask ourselves so many questions. We’re not all right. We must always convert and have the sentiments that Jesus had.
The voice of the Baptist still cries in the deserts of humanity today […]. And [his voice] causes us to ask ourselves if we are actually following the right path, living a life according to the Gospel. Today, as then, he admonishes us with the words of the Prophet Isaiah: “Prepare the way of the Lord!” (v. 4). It is a pressing invitation to open one’s heart and receive the salvation that God offers ceaselessly, almost obstinately, because he wants us all to be free from the slavery of sin. But the text of the prophet amplifies this voice, portending that “all flesh shall see the salvation of God” (v. 6). And salvation is offered to every man, and every people, without exclusion, to each one of us. None of us can say, “I’m a saint; I’m perfect; I’m already saved”. No. We must always accept this offer of salvation […].
Therefore, each one of us is called to make Jesus known to those who do not yet know him […]. If Our Lord Jesus has changed our lives, and he changes it every time we go to him, how can we not feel the passion to make him known to those we encounter at work, at school, in our apartment building, in the hospital, in meeting places? If we look around us, we find people who would be willing to begin — or begin again — a journey of faith were they encounter Christians in love with Jesus. Shouldn’t we and couldn’t we be these Christians? I leave you this question: “Am I truly in love with Jesus? Am I convinced that Jesus offers me and gives me salvation?” And, if I am in love, I have to make him known! But we must be courageous: lay low the mountains of pride and rivalry; fill in the ravines dug by indifference and apathy; make straight the paths of our laziness and our compromises.
May the Virgin Mary, who is Mother and knows how to do so, help us to tear down the walls and the obstacles that impede our conversion, that is, our journey toward the encounter with the Lord. He alone, Jesus alone can fulfil all the hopes of man!
(Cf. Pope Francis, 06.12.2015).
Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Prayer composed by Em. Pope Benedict XVI (08.12.2008).
O Immaculate Mother, who are a sign of certain hope and comfort to everyone, help us to let ourselves be attracted by your immaculate purity. Your beauty Tota Pulchra, as we sing today assures us that the victory of love is possible; indeed, that it is certain. It assures us that grace is stronger than sin, and that redemption from any form of slavery is therefore possible. Yes, O Mary, help us to believe with greater trust in good, to wager on giving freely, on service, on non-violence, on the power of the truth. Encourage us to be alert, not to give into the temptation of easy evasions, to face reality and its problems with courage and responsibility. This is what you did, a young woman called to stake everything on the Word of the Lord. May you be a loving mother for our young people, so that they may have the courage to be “watchmen of the dawn”, and give this virtue to all Christians so that they may be the heart of the world in this difficult period of history.
Virgin Immaculate, Mother of God and our Mother, pray for us!
Last Week’s Collections
Parish Collection: € 850.83
AMH: € 63.77 Thanks for your generosity!
Retiring Collection for the Cemetery
During the Sunday Masses of next weekend.
Fundraisers for AMH:
* Thursday 9th December: At ‘The Local’ (Chloraka). Event opens at 6PM. €25 per person (€5 go to Hospice). Payable on the day. For more info or to book, contact Fr. Jim (99793169) / email@example.com) or Nicos (99647064 / firstname.lastname@example.org).
* There is a Christmas Hamper raffle on Sunday 19th Dec at 11am. Tickets €5 a strip available from the shop.
Light up a Life: 16 December, 5PM in AK. Please, contact fr. Jim or fr. Ismael.
You can help those in need by bringing non-perishable food, winter clothing, used bicycles, household goods, baby items, etc. You may drop off your donation at the church or the Priest House.
Join our team! For information, please, contact Richard (99282385) or Fr. Fernando. Thank you for your prayers and support!
8 December: Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Holy Mass at 12PM. On this day, fr. Carlos (who will be visiting our parish during those days) celebrates his 37th anniversary of priest ordination.
Our weekly retiring collection for the Hospice is back! This is the Parish contribution to AMH. Look for the basket on the way out. Thank you!
Shop (Open Sun – Fri, 9am – 1pm)
Books, clothes, bric-a-brac, tea, coffee and more. You can bring your donations to the shop from Sunday to Friday. Volunteers needed to cover especially the Mondays. Please contact fr. Ismael or fr. Jim.
COVID Restrictions: Please, remember to bring your Corona Safe Pass.