December 4, 2016
2nd Sunday of Advent
“Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.”
Lectio Divina for the 2nd Week of Advent
We begin our prayer: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Almighty God, who command us to prepare the way for Christ the Lord, grant in your kindness, we pray, that no infirmity may weary us as we long for the comforting presence of our heavenly physician. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Read the following Scripture two or three times.
Matthew 3:1-12 John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: A voice of one crying out in the desert, Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
After the reading, take some time to reflect in silence on one or more of the following questions:
- What word or words in this passage caught your attention?
- What in this passage comforted you?
- What in this passage challenged you?
Read the scripture passage again, followed by this reflection:
How does this passage connect with the experience of your daily life?
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!
For what sins do I need to repent?
How can I avoid the people, places, and things that lead me to sin?
Prepare the way of the Lord, / make straight his paths.
What can I do to make the Lord more present in my family, workplace,
parish, or neighborhood?
How can I help draw others to an encounter with Christ?
Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance.
How do I show God that I love him above all things?
What one thing will I do this week to live more fully my call to be a
Read the scripture passage one more time. Bring to the Lord the praise, petition, or thanksgiving that the Word inspires in you. Recite the Lord’s Prayer and the following:
Closing Prayer: Here is your God! Here comes with power the Lord God, who rules by his strong arm; Here is his reward with him, his recompense before him. Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, Carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care. (Isaiah 40:10-11)