Lifelong Catechesis

Forming Catholic identity across generations
May 19, 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 40:1-5, 9-11

Prepare the way of the Lord!

  • The reading from Isaiah was written at the end of the Babylonian exile.
  • The prophet helps the people imagine their return from exile and the restoration of their land.
  • Like the Exodus from Egypt, this new exodus from Babylon will reveal to all humankind the glory of the Lord.

Reading II : 2 Peter 3:8-14

Be holy in your conduct and devotion.

  • Many of the early Christian communities believed that Christ would return soon after his Resurrection.
  • The author of 2 Peter gives a stern warning to those who have given up on the return of Christ.
  • God does not work in human time.

Gospel : Mark 1:1-8

I send my messenger before you.

  • Mark’s Gospel begins the story of Jesus by introducing John the Baptist, describing him with phrases from Isaiah (40:3), Malachi (3:1), and Exodus (23:20).
  • John is also portrayed as Elijah, the great northern prophet of the ninth century B.C., who called Israel back to fidelity to Yahweh.
  • Pictured with images of every precursor of exodus and deliverance, John preaches a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.