Sunday Readings and Reflections

Sunday, December 6 
Second Sunday of Advent 

Roman Ordinary calendar

St. Nicholas of Bari († 342)

Book of Isaiah 40,1-5.9-11.

Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. 
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated; Indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD double for all her sins. 
A voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the LORD! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! 
Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low; The rugged land shall be made a plain, the rough country, a broad valley. 
Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all mankind shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken. 
Go up onto a high mountain, Zion, herald of glad tidings; Cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, herald of good news! Fear not to cry out and say to the cities of Judah: Here is your God! 
Here comes with power the Lord GOD, who rules by his strong arm; Here is his reward with him, his recompense before him. 
Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, Carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care. 

Psalms 85(84),9ab-10.11-12.13-14.

I will hear what God proclaims; 
the LORD –for he proclaims peace to his people. 
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him, 
glory dwelling in our land. 

Kindness and truth shall meet; 
justice and peace shall kiss. 
Truth shall spring out of the earth, 
and justice shall look down from heaven. 

The LORD himself will give his benefits; 
our land shall yield its increase. 
Justice shall walk before him, 
and salvation, along the way of his steps. 

Second Letter of Peter 3,8-14.

But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day. 
The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard “delay,” but he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a mighty roar and the elements will be dissolved by fire, and the earth and everything done on it will be found out. 
Since everything is to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought (you) to be, conducting yourselves in holiness and devotion, 
waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved in flames and the elements melted by fire. 
But according to his promise we await new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 
Therefore, beloved, since you await these things, be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him, at peace. 

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 1,1-8.

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ (the Son of God). 
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. 
A voice of one crying out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.'” 
John (the) Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 
People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. 
John was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He fed on locusts and wild honey. 
And this is what he proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. 
I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the holy Spirit.” 

Homily attributed to Saint Gregory the Wonderworker (c.213-270) 
Sermons on the holy Theophany, 4 ; PG 10, 1181 (©Friends of Henry Ashworth)

“I am unworthy to stoop down to loosen the thongs of his sandals”

[Jesus came to John to be baptized by him. John tried to prevent him, saying: “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you are coming to me?” (Mt 3:13-14)] “I am the voice, the voice crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way for the Lord.” So I cannot be silent, Lord, in your presence. I “need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” (…) You existed from the beginning, you were with God and you were God (Jn 1:1). You are the radiance the Father’s glory, the perfect image of the perfect Father (Heb 1:3). You are the true light enlightening every person who comes into the world (Jn 1:9). You were in the world yet you have come to where you were already. You have become flesh, but you have not been changed into flesh. You have lived among us, appearing to your servants in the likeness of a servant (Jn 1:14; 14:23; Phil 2:7). You by your holy name have bridged heaven and earth, and do you come to me? You, so great, to such as I? King to herald, master to servant? (…)

I know the distance between the earth and the Creator, between the clay and the potter. I know how far I, a lamp lit by your grace, am outshone by you, the Sun of Righteousness (Mal 3:20; Jn 5:35). You are concealed by the pure cloud of your body, but I still recognize your sovereignty. I acknowledge my servile condition; I proclaim your greatness. I admit your absolute authority, and my own lowly estate. “I am unworthy to undo the strap of your sandal»; how then could I dare to touch your immaculate head? How could I stretch out my hand over you, who «stretched out the heavens like a tent,” and “set the earth upon the waters” (Pss. 104[103]:2; 136[135]:6)? (…) Surely it is not for me to pray over you, for you are the one who receives the prayers even of those who have no knowledge of you.

Traditional Latin Mass readings for the Second Sunday of Advent

EPISTLE Romans 15: 4-13

Fratres: Quæcúmque scripta sunt, ad nostram doctrínam scripta sunt: ut per patiéntiam et consolatiónem Scripturárum, spem habeámus. Deus autem patiéntiæ et solátii, det vobis idípsum sápere in altérutrum secúndum Jesum Christum: ut unánimes, uno ore honorificétis Deum et Patrem Dómini nostri Jesu Christi. Propter quod suscípite ínvicem, sicut et Christus suscépit vos in honórem Dei. Dico enim Christum Jesum minístrum fuísse circumcisiónis propter veritátem Dei, ad confirmándas promissiónes patrum: gentes autem super misericórdia honoráre Deum, sicut scriptum est: Proptérea confitébor tibi in géntibus, Dómine, et nómini tuo cantábo. Et iterum dicit: Lætámini, gentes, cum plebe ejus. Et íterum: Laudáte omnes gentes Dóminum: et magnificáte eum omnes pópuli. Et rursus Isaías ait: Erit radix Jesse, et qui exsúrget régere gentes, in eum gentes sperábunt. Deus autem spei répleat vos omni gáudio et pace in credéndo: ut abundétis in spe, et virtúte Spíritus Sancti.

Brethren, What things soever were written, were written for our learning: that, through patience and the comfort of the Scriptures, we might have hope. Now the God of patience and of comfort grant you to be of one mind according to Jesus Christ, that with one mind and one mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive one another, as Christ also hath received you unto the honor of God. For I say that Christ Jesus was minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: but that the Gentiles are to glorify God for His mercy, as it is written: Therefore will I confess to Thee, O Lord, among the Gentiles, and will sing to Thy Name. And again He saith: Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with His people. And again: Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles, and magnify Him, all ye people. And again, Isaias saith: There shall be a root of Jesse; and He that shall rise up to rule the Gentiles, in Him the Gentiles shall hope. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing: that you may abound in hope, and in the power of the Holy Spirit.

GRADUAL Psalms 49: 2, 3, 5

Ex Sion spécies decóris ejus: Deus maniféste véniet. Congregáte illi sanctos ejus, qui ordinavérunt testaméntum ejus super sacrifícia.

Out of Sion, the loveliness of His beauty: God shall come manifestly. Gather ye together His Saints to Him, who have set His covenant before sacrifices.


Allelúja, allelúja. Lætátus sum in his, quæ dicta sunt mihi: in domum Dómini íbimus. Allelúja.

Alleluia, alleluia. I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: We shall go unto the house of the Lord. Alleluia.

GOSPEL Matthew 11: 2-10

In illo témpore: Cum audísset Joánnes in vínculis ópera Christi, mittens duos de discípulis suis, ait illi: Tu es, qui ventúrus es, an álium exspectámus? Et respóndens Jesus, ait illis: Eúntes renuntiáte Joánni quæ audístis, et vidístis. Cæci vident, claudi ámbulant, leprósi mundántur, surdi áudiunt, mórtui resúrgunt, páuperes evangelizántur: et beátus est, qui non fúerit scandalizátus in me. Illis autem abeúntibus, cœpit Jesus dícere ad turbas de Joánne: Quid exístis in desértum vidére? arúndinem vento agitátam? Sed quid exístis vidére? hóminem móllibus vestítum? Ecce qui móllibus vestiúntur, in dómibus regum sunt. Sed quid exístis vidére? prophétam? Étiam dico vobis, et plus quam prophétam. Hic est enim, de quo scriptum est: Ecce ego mitto Ángelum meum ante fáciem tuam, qui præparábit viam tuam ante te.

At that time, when John had heard in prison the works of Christ, sending two of his disciples, he said to Him: Art thou He that art to come, or look we for another? And Jesus, making answer, said to them: Go and relate to John what you have heard and seen. The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, the poor have the gospel preached to them: and blessed is he that shall not be scandalized in Me. And when they went their way, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: What went you out into the desert to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went you out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Behold they that are clothed in soft garments are in the houses of kings. But what went you out to see? A prophet? Yea I tell you, and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written: Behold, I send my Angel before Thy face, who shall prepare Thy way before Thee.

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1 Response to Sunday Readings and Reflections

  1. Robert John Bennett says:

    St. Gregory is quoted, “You are the one who receives the prayers even of those who have no knowledge of you.” “No knowledge.” That indludes most of us, I think.


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