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Liturgy of the Sunday

Second Sunday of Advent Read more

Libretto DEL GIORNO
Liturgy of the Sunday
Sunday, December 10

Second Sunday of Advent


First Reading

Isaiah 40,1-5.9-11

'Console my people, console them,' says your God. 'Speak to the heart of Jerusalem and cry to her that her period of service is ended, that her guilt has been atoned for, that, from the hand of Yahweh, she has received double punishment for all her sins.' A voice cries, 'Prepare in the desert a way for Yahweh. Make a straight highway for our God across the wastelands. Let every valley be filled in, every mountain and hill be levelled, every cliff become a plateau, every escarpment a plain; then the glory of Yahweh will be revealed and all humanity will see it together, for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken.' Go up on a high mountain, messenger of Zion. Shout as loud as you can, messenger of Jerusalem! Shout fearlessly, say to the towns of Judah, 'Here is your God.' Here is Lord Yahweh coming with power, his arm maintains his authority, his reward is with him and his prize precedes him. He is like a shepherd feeding his flock, gathering lambs in his arms, holding them against his breast and leading to their rest the mother ewes.

Psalmody

Psalm 85

Antiphon

In the day of my trouble I will call to you O Lord.

Turn your ear, O Lord, and give answer
for I am poor and needy.

Preserve my life, for I am faithful :
save the servant who trusts in you.

You are my God, have mercy on me, Lord,
for I cry to you all the day long.

Give joy to your servant, O Lord,
for to you I lift up my soul.

O Lord, you are good and forgiving,
full of love to all who call.

Give heed, O Lord, to my prayer
and attend to the sound of my voice.

In the day of distress I will call
and surely you will reply.

Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord;
nor work to compare with yours.

All the nations shall come to adore you
and glorify your name, O Lord:

for you are great and do marvellous deeds,
you who alone are God.

Show me, Lord your way
so that I may walk in your truth.
Guide my heart to fear your name.

I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart
and glorify your name for ever;

for your love to me has been great:
you have saved me from the depths of the grave.

The proud have risen against me;
ruthless men seek my life:
to you they pay no heed.

But you, God of mercy and compassion,
slow to anger, O Lord,

abounding in love and truth,
turn and take pity on me.

O give your strength to your servants
and save your handmaid’s son.

Show me a sign of your favour
that my foes may see to their shame
that you console me and give me your help.

Second Reading

2 Peter 3,8-14

But there is one thing, my dear friends, that you must never forget: that with the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not being slow in carrying out his promises, as some people think he is; rather is he being patient with you, wanting nobody to be lost and everybody to be brought to repentance. The Day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then with a roar the sky will vanish, the elements will catch fire and melt away, the earth and all that it contains will be burned up. Since everything is coming to an end like this, what holy and saintly lives you should be living while you wait for the Day of God to come, and try to hasten its coming: on that Day the sky will dissolve in flames and the elements melt in the heat. What we are waiting for, relying on his promises, is the new heavens and new earth, where uprightness will be at home. So then, my dear friends, while you are waiting, do your best to live blameless and unsullied lives so that he will find you at peace.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Mark 1,1-8

The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is written in the prophet Isaiah: Look, I am going to send my messenger in front of you to prepare your way before you. A voice of one that cries in the desert: Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight. John the Baptist was in the desert, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. All Judaea and all the people of Jerusalem made their way to him, and as they were baptised by him in the river Jordan they confessed their sins. John wore a garment of camel-skin, and he lived on locusts and wild honey. In the course of his preaching he said, 'After me is coming someone who is more powerful than me, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals. I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.'

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Homily

The Gospel of Mark that will accompany us along this liturgical year opens as follow: "The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God." It is the shortest Gospel and almost certainly is the first one that was written. Scholars tell us that it reached Rome very early on and from there it immediately spread throughout the Roman Empire. It was the first "good news of Jesus, Christ, the Son of God," to have travelled the paths of the world of that time starting from Rome. As we well know, the word "gospel" means "good news." And this news is proclaimed to us today as well, while this time of ours is marked by wars and conflicts, injustice and violence, abandonment, and cruelty, which are especially felt by the poorest. The place of this first announcement is the desert. We could compare today's Gospel passage to the Baptist who speaks in the desert and warns us to prepare ourselves to welcome Jesus. Just as at the time of the exile of the Jewish people, the prophet Isaiah warned the people that God was coming back to deliver them, so today the Gospel warns us that Jesus is coming. John, who dressed in camel's hair, who was not in luxury, who did not dwell in the palaces of power, is only a "voice" speaking in the wilderness. In the same way the Gospel is only a "word" that speaks in the desert of this world and calls everyone to prepare the way for Jesus who is about to be born in our midst. The sobriety of the Gospel, its simple language, however, has the power to unhinge every closure. The Gospel of this Advent season is in a hurry for hearts to open and welcome the Lord. His word fills the gaps in hearts, smooths out the mountains of selfishness that crush one another, tears down the walls that separate, rips up the bitter roots that poison relationships, straightens the paths distorted by hatred, backbiting, envy, indifference, pride. The evangelist Mark speaking of John and of his preaching notes: "And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins." The proclamation of the Gospel becomes the occasion to gather around the Baptist and his words. When the Holy Scriptures are opened and proclaimed, the way of the Lord opens; blessed are we if we will be able to welcome it and walk along the way for it certainly will lead us to the Lord who is coming.

Prayer is the heart of the life of the Community of Sant'Egidio and is its absolute priority. At the end of the day, every the Community of Sant'Egidio, large or small, gathers around the Lord to listen to his Word. The Word of God and the prayer are, in fact, the very basis of the whole life of the Community. The disciples cannot do other than remain at the feet of Jesus, as did Mary of Bethany, to receive his love and learn his ways (Phil. 2:5).
So every evening, when the Community returns to the feet of the Lord, it repeats the words of the anonymous disciple: " Lord, teach us how to pray". Jesus, Master of prayer, continues to answer: "When you pray, say: Abba, Father". It is not a simple exhortation, it is much more. With these words Jesus lets the disciples participate in his own relationship with the Father. Therefore in prayer, the fact of being children of the Father who is in heaven, comes before the words we may say. So praying is above all a way of being! That is to say we are children who turn with faith to the Father, certain that they will be heard.
Jesus teaches us to call God "Our Father". And not simply "Father" or "My Father". Disciples, even when they pray on their own, are never isolated nor they are orphans; they are always members of the Lord's family.
In praying together, beside the mystery of being children of God, there is also the mystery of brotherhood, as the Father of the Church said: "You cannot have God as father without having the church as mother". When praying together, the Holy Spirit assembles the disciples in the upper room together with Mary, the Lord's mother, so that they may direct their gaze towards the Lord's face and learn from Him the secret of his Heart.
 The Communities of Sant'Egidio all over the world gather in the various places of prayer and lay before the Lord the hopes and the sufferings of the tired, exhausted crowds of which the Gospel speaks ( Mat. 9: 3-7 ), In these ancient crowds we can see the huge masses of the modern cities, the millions of refugees who continue to flee their countries, the poor, relegated to the very fringe of life and all those who are waiting for someone to take care of them. Praying together includes the cry, the invocation, the aspiration, the desire for peace, the healing and salvation of the men and women of this world. Prayer is never in vain; it rises ceaselessly to the Lord so that anguish is turned into hope, tears into joy, despair into happiness, and solitude into communion. May the Kingdom of God come soon among people!