Vol: 43, No.2 2ND SUNDAY OF ADVENT ( C) December 06 2015  
with Thrones and Dominions, and with all the hosts and Powers of heaven, we sing the hymn of your glory, as without end we acclaim:

All: Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts…

Jerusalem, arise and stand upon the heights, and behold the joy which
comes to you from God. (Bar 5:5; 4:36)

Replenished by the food of spiritual nourishment, we humbly beseech you, O Lord, that, through our partaking in this mystery, you may teach us to judge wisely the things of earth and hold firm to the things of heaven. Through Christ our Lord.


Baruch was a scribe in Jerusalem during the years just prior to the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 587 BC and a close friend of the prophet Jeremiah. Baruch had an important role to play in preserving the legacy of Jeremiah. In chapter 36 of the book of Jeremiah he was reported to have written the first Jeremiah scroll at the prophet’s dictation. When the scroll was read to King Jehoiakim, the king responded by burning the scroll in the fireplace. The king ordered the seizure of both Baruch and Jeremiah, but they managed to escape. Baruch was then instructed by Jeremiah to write a new scroll to replace the one which had been destroyed. During the final siege of Jerusalem, when Jeremiah was under house arrest, Baruch served as a witness to the purchase of a piece of land which Jeremiah had made in order to symbolize the nation’s future restoration. Baruch was entrusted with the deed of purchase and told to place it in an earthenware jar for safe keeping. Baruch survived the fall of Jerusalem, and like Jeremiah, was apparently released by the Babylonians and allowed to remain in the land. In the end, however, both Jeremiah and Baruch went to Egypt and settled down with those who had fled to Egypt.
Baruch 5:1–9 (first reading) is a Psalm of Solace. This poem says that the people of Israel are dispersed among the nations, Zion is deserted, and her enemies rejoice. However, this will change: the people of Israel will return to Jerusalem, will once again regain its past glory and become a city of peace and righteousness. The enemies will be destroyed. These words of Baruch that promise restoration console the people who are suffering in exile far away from their native land.


Following the line traced by Jeremiah and Second Isaiah, Baruch proclaims the eschatological renewal of a suffering people. The signs of liberation that can be seen in history provide a glimpse of the future that God is preparing for his people. For Christians, the book of Baruch leads to the revelation of the new life that begins with the birth of Jesus.
The gospel of today presents the beginning of the ministry of John the Baptist. Luke mentions several high ranking political and religious leaders such as Tiberius Caesar, Pilate, Herod Antipas and Herod Philip, Annas and Caiaphas as time-markers for the beginning of the ministry of John that leads to the ministry of Jesus. The initiative of God to restore the people by sending his own Son is the culmination of all his attempts to restore the people to himself taken in the past. As Baruch stood by Jeremiah, John the Baptist ably carries out the duty of preparing the people to receive the Messiah. The high moral stand that John the Baptist takes in his preaching and exhortations before the high and the mighty takes the toll of his life. But John the Baptist remains faithful to his call and happily bears martyrdom.
Advent is the time when we prepare ourselves for the birth of Christ. It is a joyful event as birthday celebrations always are. Sending of his Son to change the direction in which the world was going – some of those responsible for the state of affairs are mentioned in the gospel – is an indication that God is always interested in the welfare of his people. He has shown such interest in the past and we can rest assured that he will continue to work for our own benefit in our own time.

– AK
December 2015 READINGS OF THE WEEK Psalter Week 2
07 Mon (W) St Ambrose,  Isa 35:1-10/ Ps 85:9-10-14/ Lk 5:17-26
Gen 3:9-15, 20/ Ps 98:1-4/ Eph 1:3-6, 11-12/ Lk 1:26-38
09 Wed (V) Isa 40:25-31/ Ps 103:1-4, 8, 10/ Mt 11:28-30
10 Thu (V) Isa 41:13-20/ Ps 145:1, 9-13/ Mt 11:11-15
11 Fri (V) St Damasus I, Isa 48:17-19/ Ps 1:1-4, 6/ Mt 11:16-19
12 Sat (V) Our Lady of Guadalupe, Sir 48:1-4, 9-11/ Ps 79:2-3, 15-16, 18-19/ Mt 17:10-13
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