“As the journey of Advent continues, as we prepare to celebrate the nativity of Christ, John the Baptist's call to conversion sounds out in our communities. It is a pressing invitation to open our hearts and to welcome the Son of God Who comes among us to make divine judgement manifest. The Father, writes St. John the Evangelist, does not judge anyone, but has entrusted the power of judgement to the Son, because He is the Son of man.“And it is today, in the present, that we decide our future destiny. It is with our concrete everyday behavior in this life that we determine our eternal fate. At the end of our days on earth, at the moment of death, we will be evaluated on the basis of our likeness or otherwise to the Baby Who is about to be born in the poor grotto of Bethlehem, because He is the measure God has given humanity.“Through the Gospel John the Baptist continues to speak down the centuries to each generation. His hard clear words bring health to us, the men and women of this day in which even the experience and perception of Christmas often, unfortunately, reflects materialist attitudes. The 'voice' of the great prophet asks us to prepare the way for the coming Lord in the deserts of today, internal and external deserts, thirsting for the water of life which is Christ.” — Benedict XVIThe feast of St. John Damascene, which is ordinarily celebrated today, is superseded by the Sunday liturgy.Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.Jesse Tree ~ Joseph
In Palestine Christians gather today in Jerusalem for the celebration of holy Mass. In Rome they proceed to the stational church "Holy Cross at Jerusalem" which serves to give the atmosphere of the Holy City.
Commentary for the Readings in the Extraordinary Form:
Second Sunday of Advent
Jesus referred John as "My messenger" who prepared the "way". John now wanted his disciples to realize that they, too, must follow Christ in this "way". Only through the same Jesus Christ, the long expected Savior, will the "blind" of soul "see;" the "lame' of character "walk;" the "lepers" of sin become "cleansed;" the "poor" become rich with a new Gospel. (Red figures in picture indicate the blink, the lame, the leper.)
Second Sunday of Advent
Station with Holy Cross In Jerusalem (Santa Croce in Gerusalemme):
The church in Rome appointed as the stational church for the Second Sunday of Advent is the Church of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem. Of old, salvation was of the Jews, but through them, and through this church, salvation is also given to the heathens. The Jerusalem, the Sion of today's liturgy, is the Holy Catholic Church, the vessel that contains Christ and his salvation. In the mind of the liturgy the figure applies also to each Christian soul, and to the church of stone in which we await the celebration of Mass in anticipation of the advent of our Redeemer (Baur, The Light of the World).
For more information on Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, see:
Churches of Rome
Walks in Rome
For further information on the Station Churches, see The Stational Church.