Second Sunday of Advent Year C by Fr.  Isaac A. Mensah

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Second Sunday of Advent Year C by Fr.  Isaac A. Mensah

1st Reading Baruch 5:1-9
Responsorial Psalm Psalms 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6
2nd Reading Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11
Gospel Luke 3:1-6

Theme: Preparing the way- ( Viam Parentes)


If there’s one thing that I find difficult forgetting then it is my High School’s anthem. I remember back in our days at St John’s School, anytime we went for sporting activities and chanted the school anthem that ends with the school’s motto “Viam Parentes”- ( to wit “Preparing the way), the whole atmosphere became charged and our athletes were poised and spurred to perform. The theme for the second Sunday of Advent brings back this nostalgic feelings. The readings of today also motivate us to preparing the way for a moment of restoration and victory.

Explanation of the text

The book we read from today’s first reading is named for Baruch, a purported secretary of the prophet Jeremiah who lived earlier in Jerusalem and in exile. However, a cursory examination of the book’s contents convinces us that it’s a Diaspora document. This passage expresses the dispersed Jews’ loyalty to Jerusalem. It rehearses a prophecy that Baruch or Jeremiah might have delivered in that devastated city when exiles began to trickle home.

The author of the Book of Baruch in the first paragraph of our pericope, gives three images of Jerusalem “dressing up” for the return of the exiles, “wearing of a mitre” and the new names of “the peace of Justice, the glory of God’s worship”. But before these events take place, Baruch 5:7 shares with Isaiah 40:3f this startling image: Between the land of the Captivity and Jerusalem, the desert will be leveled, its mountains smoothed down and its valleys filled up, so the returning exiles can travel in ease. This pronouncement is similar to the voice of John the Baptist on the desert asking us to prepare the way by filling valleys and lowering every mountain.

Preparing the way of the Lord in the wilderness is not comfortable because it is done in the wilderness of human history. We prepare the way of the Lord in the midst of a world that, though it still belongs to God, has been infected and affected by sin and death at every level. But when faced with such a world, the comforting news is that our God is coming to intervene in the history and affairs of man. In fact Jesus doubles-down on space and time, on here and now, on flesh and blood. Did you notice all those names at the beginning of our gospel reading? Luke offers us a redemption that takes place within the context of human history.

In concluding, as we prepare the way in the wilderness of human history we pray in the words of St Paul that “our love may increase more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception so as to discern what is of value and lead a blameless life”.


Rev. Fr. Isaac Atta Mensah
( Sekondi-Takoradi Catholic Diocese, Ghana)

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