Lifelong Catechesis

Forming Catholic identity across generations
April 23, 2024


The twofold character of Advent calls us to prepare for the remembering of the Word made Flesh at Christmas, and directs us to wait with alertness for Jesus’ second coming.

Sunday Readings and Backgrounds

Second Sunday of Advent

Reading I : Isaiah 11:1-10

The wolf shall be a guest of the lamb.

  • The reading from Isaiah describes the expected Emmanuel God with us.
  • The reign of Emmanuel will be harmonious, just, and peace-filled. The one who comes will be a person of justice and wisdom.
  • The characteristics or qualities of Emmanuel are what Christians today identify as the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Reading II : Romans 15:4-9

Accept one another, as Christ accepted you.

  • In the passage from the Letter to the Romans, Paul urges the strong to carry the burdens of the weak, to follow the example of Christ, who became the servant of all.
  • Followers of Christ ought to build the community and its members up rather than tear it down.
  • Paul calls for unity and acceptance, between the Gentile Christians who were the majority and the Jewish-Christian minority.

Gospel : Matthew 3:1-12

Reform your lives!

  • In the Gospel of Matthew, John the Baptist is introduced preaching a message of conversion: “Reform your lives! The reign of God is at hand.”
  • John the Baptists’ preaching demanded a radical conversion of the whole person to God.
  • John baptized the people in the River Jordan as a symbolic washing that signified their repentance, but this is a Jewish, not a Christian baptism. On this Sunday, we focus on preparation for Christ.