We begin our prayer:
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Grant that your people, we pray, almighty God, may be ever watchful for the coming of your Only Begotten Son, that, as the author of our salvation himself has taught us, we may hasten, alert and with lighted lamps, to meet him when he comes. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
(Collect, Friday of the Second Week of Advent)
Read the following Scripture two or three times.
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way.
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.”
John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.
John was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He fed on locusts and wild honey. And this is what he proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
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?
If practicing lectio divina as a family or in a group, after the reflection time, invite the participants to share their responses.
Read the Scripture passage one more time. Bring to the Lord the praise, petition, or thanksgiving that the Word inspires in you.
Read the Scripture passage again, followed by this reflection:
What conversion of mind, heart, and life is the Lord asking of me?
Prepare the way of the Lord. How do I share my faith with others, through word and deed? What can I do this week to help others encounter Christ?
They acknowledged their sins. How often do I seek forgiveness from those I have wronged? How often do I seek God’s forgiveness in the Sacrament of Penance? Do I make time each day to acknowledge my sinfulness and ask God’s grace to help me do better?
One mightier than I is coming after me. What events or places make me most aware of God’s majesty and power? Do I rely on God’s grace or expect to do it all on my own?
After a period of silent reflection and/or discussion, all recite the Lord’s Prayer and the following:
I will hear what God proclaims;
the LORD—for he proclaims peace to his people.
Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him,
glory dwelling in our land.
Kindness and truth shall meet;
justice and peace shall kiss.
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
and justice shall look down from heaven.
The LORD himself will give his benefits;
our land shall yield its increase.
Justice shall walk before him,
and prepare the way of his steps.
Living the Word This Week
How can I make my life a gift for others in charity?
Make plans to receive to the Sacrament of Penance before Christmas.
Copyright © 2017, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, DC. All rights reserved. Excerpts from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Washington, D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner. Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner. Excerpts from the English translation of The Roman Missal © 2010, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.