The Second Sunday of Advent challenges us to prepare a royal highway in our hearts for Jesus so that we may receive Him as our saving God during Christmas. We should also be prepared for Christ’s daily coming into our lives in the Holy Eucharist, in the Holy Bible and in the praying community. Finally, we are asked to be ready to meet Jesus as our Judge on His Second Coming, at the end of our lives and at the end of the world.
In the first reading, the prophet Baruch introduces Yahweh, the God of Israel, preparing the way for, and leading the Babylonian exiles to, Jerusalem. Hence, the prophet invites the weeping Jerusalem to rejoice and go to high places to watch the return of the exiles. Baruch’s prophecy announces the return of the whole human race to God. During this Advent season, we, too, are asked to return to the Lord from our slavery to sin.
Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, was a bit of a rogue character. He embraced life in the wilderness and preached a challenging message of change and repentance. John the Baptist was living as a missionary disciple before Jesus ever called His first disciples! Consider the wilderness that exists within you, within your own heart. How does the message of John the Baptist stir that wilderness into action? There is no need to fear or tame your wild heart -- instead, explore that place within you and allow the Holy Spirit to draw you deeper into your own commitment to being a disciple. A life of stewardship is not always easy or popular. Use this holy season to make a transition from the comfortable to the uncomfortable ... from the calm to the wilderness.
Indeed, all parishes within the Diocese of Honolulu are restoring the Original Order of the Sacraments of Initiation between 2018-2020.
In the early Church, the person was immersed into the waters of Baptism, anointed with chrism, and shared in the Eucharistic meal as part of a single event. Over time, and for many reasons, the celebration of these three sacraments became separated from one another. In the renewal stemming from the Second Vatican Council, the Church was asked to more clearly set forth the intimate connection of Confirmation with the whole of Christian initiation. This original order also helps us recognize that sharing in the Eucharist completes our initiation into the Church and that it is Eucharist which is the “source and summit of our faith.”
Go to www.catholichawaii.org for more information on this