Bulletin: December 6, 2020
Second Sunday of Advent
In 2020, we heard plenty of voices speaking out and sharing their opinions, but many of those words were not comforting or hope-filled. Sometimes, it was hard to know which expert or “instant expert” to listen to, and it is still difficult to hope as we struggle to regain our balance as a nation and as a Church. The Word of God offers us peace this day. All our readings remind us of a faithful God who always keeps the promises made. Isaiah prophesied about the end of Jerusalem’s time away from God, and the Psalm speaks of “seeing God’s kindness and hearing what God proclaims.” Second Peter explains that God’s timing may not be the same as ours, but good things await those who are alert. In the Gospel, John the Baptist reiterates and completes the prophecy of Isaiah by laying the groundwork and preparing the way for those who await the coming of the Messiah.
With COVID-19, much time is spent wondering “where did it start?” or “who passed it on to whom?” Though science can tell us much there are many unanswered questions. Today’s Gospel is about as concrete as sacred scripture gets. We know this is the beginning of the Gospel of Mark, which was the first Gospel to be written down in about 70 AD. Unlike Luke and John, Mark does not begin with an infancy narrative of Jesus. He starts by proclaiming the prophecy of Isaiah. This section was written six hundred years before Christ, in another time of great upheaval, as the Israelites were displaced from their homeland during the Babylonian Exile. The first words of Isaiah 40 are “Comfort, comfort, my people.” John the Baptist starts by explaining he is the go-between, sent to “Prepare the way.”