Scripture Reflections for the Second Sunday of Advent

Year B, Lectionary 5

The scripture readings today point us to the desert where we are meant to hear God's message. John the Baptist verbalizes for us to expect God's mercy and forgiveness by repenting and turning away from our sins so that we can embrace a God who is seeking to comfort us. This requires a cooperation between God and us to expect God's love and accept it as well by clearing a path for God to enter into our hearts.

Hate feeling lost on Sundays at church? Searching for a better explanation of the Bible than what you hear from your pastor's sermon? Check out the following collection of audio, video, and text commentaries from various Christian experts for a better understanding of today's scripture that deal with: AdventBaptismChangeComfortDesertDetachmentEndEnvironmentEschatologyExodusForgiveGospelHistoryHolyHoneyHopeIsaiahJohn the BaptistJusticeListenLocustPatiencePrepareProphecyReceiveRepentRestoreSinVoiceWaitWildernessWoman

Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11
Psalm 85:9-14
2 Peter 3:8-14

“And what holiness is in its essence...means to be set apart. Set apart from sin, that's the negative connotation but set apart for God, that's the positive connotation.”

Catholic Productions | "The Moral Implications of the End of the World" | Brant Pitre | February 19, 2021

“The second point that 2nd Peter is making here is that...the reason the final judgment hasn't happened yet is not because God is slow but because he's patient with humanity. He's forbearing with us because he doesn't want anyone to perish but he wants everyone to reach repentance.”

Catholic Productions | "The End of The World" | Brant Pitre | December 2, 2020
Mark 1:1-8
Catholic Productions | "The Baptism of Jesus" | Brant Pitre | January 4, 2021

“John the Baptist is proclaiming that the new Exodus is at hand in the same place where the first Exodus ended, right. He's going to inaugurate the new Exodus where the old Exodus ended.”

Catholic Productions | "John the Baptist: Prophet of the New Exodus" | Brant Pitre | November 30, 2020

“So the season of Advent, that we join John the Baptist in the desert, reminds us that God can help us even when we don't have human connections, that God can help us even when we don't have what other people have”

Fr. Emmanuel Ochigbo | December 4, 2023

“through the tactile ritual of baptism he is hoping to change our thinking, to remove any obstacles that keep us from recognizing God's boundless love revealed to us in the person of Jesus, the incarnation, the embodiment of God coming to be with us in our very own history to show us the way”

U.S. Catholic magazine | Lisa Brown | December 1, 2023
Overall Readings

“Advent is a season of metanoia, inviting a radical reorientation of our lives towards God”

"Prepare a way for the Lord" | Fr. Geoffrey Plant | December 3, 2023

“we all have our mountains of problems, our rivers of pain, our valley of desolation and God says 'I'm going to wipe them all away and you're going to enter into the promised land again but you have to forsake your hopelessness and you have to take that step of hope.' Step into the river of hope, God will do the rest.”

Holy Name of Jesus Church & Loyola Ministry | "Step into the river of Hope" | Fr. Mark E. Thibodeaux, SJ | December 10, 2020

“In the gospel today John the Baptist echoes the cry of Isaiah announcing that there is a new way out of emptiness and misery. God picks us up and wraps us round with love that comes through letting divine forgiveness wash over us and then follow Jesus.”

U.S. Catholic magazine | Sr. Barbara Reid, OP | November 13, 2020

“is there anything that holds us down, keeps us from feeling that freedom that God is calling us to? A freedom of righteousness, a freedom of justice is not the ability to do whatever I want to do, that's not freedom, church. True freedom leads us to a better place.”

Saint Katharine Drexel Parish - Boston, MA | Fr. Oscar Pratt | December 6, 2020

“Isaiah was living in stressful times, he prepared a way for the Lord. Mark was living in stressful times, he prepared a way for the Lord. You and I sometimes are living in stressful times and we have to ask Jesus for that intimacy.”

UACatholic | Fr. John Paul Forté, OP | December 10, 2020

“How many of us have left God's highway and gone our own way? Think about every aspect of your life, if the Lord isn't the king of all then the Lord is not God at all. But if the Lord is the Lord of all then everything in your life will be subjected to God.”

St. Teresa of Avila - DC | Monsignor Raymond East | December 10, 2023

“I see this as a reminder that Advent is not a passive waiting but an active preparation. We are invited to cooperate with God working together to prepare the way.”

Catholic Women Preach | Sarah Hansman | November 19, 2023

“Perhaps our greatest hope in this Advent is that maybe, just maybe we will surrender our false sense of control and the idols of normalcy and in doing so we will like John the Baptist enter the desert where we will be better able to hear and heed those voices so long ignored”

Catholic Women Preach | Katherine Greiner | November 30, 2020

“gossip keeps us away from the image in the mirror, for when we spend our time talking about other people, the evil we believe others are doing, it keeps us away from having the time to focus on our own image”

Fr. Emmanuel Ochigbo | December 4, 2020

“We can't do God's road building unless we come with a contrite heart. Contrite heart says, first, 'I can't God but you can' and we allow God to be God. Contrite heart, you can't have a contrite heart if you're always making excuses.”

St. Teresa of Avila - DC | Monsignor Raymond East | December 6, 2020

“We can speak up for someone no one else is listening to, crying out or whispering, singing or in conversation, one voice, your voice can be so powerful”

Catholic Women Preach | Lisa Frey | December 10, 2017

“Isaiah 40 isn't just the prophecy of the new Exodus, it's also a prophecy of the future forgiveness of sins, of the coming of good news and then finally of the coming of God himself”

Catholic Productions | "Isaiah 40 and the Coming of God" | Brant Pitre | May 28, 2021