Second Sunday of Advent – Reflection for December 6, 2020

Written on: December 1, 2020

Give comfort to my people says our God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem. In the desert, prepare the way of the Lord.  (Isaiah 40: 1-3)

Reading 1: Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11
Psalm 85:9-10-11-12, 13-14
Reading 2: 2 Peter 3:8-14
Gospel: Mark 1: 1-8

“Advent provides us with beautiful scriptural passages each week. In our prayer and reflection, we try to focus on a few sentences that strike us. Allow me to share some of what challenged me.” Sr. Mary Courts, GNSH

How are we challenged to speak tenderly to others? And to be kind to others during such a difficult time? We look at the reading and think to ourselves, “How?” In such a time that this is, knowing how uncomfortable everyone is, how are we called to give comfort? God promised that every mountain will be filled and every hill made low. What are our own hills and mountains that need to be made low so that we can see the Lord and respond to His graces?

We see and feel the Lord who has really infused the gifts of kindness and mercy and many others within us. “Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss.” (Ps 85:10) These things can happen- even in our suffering world today- as a result of our using those gifts!

St. Peter writes: “The Lord does not delay his promise. . . He is patient with you.” (2PT 3:9)   

How do we come to believe that God is patient? How do we ourselves become patient in these trying times? Patience, too, is infused within us. All we have to do is ask God for it; God will help us with it. He challenges us to bring peace to everyone, but we can only bring peace through the gifts and graces God has given us.

Mark quotes Isaiah, “I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way.” (MK 1:2)

John the Baptist appears in the desert, proclaiming the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sin. John says, “I baptize with water. The one who is coming will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (Mk 1: 2-4, 8)

We are called to be messengers, to scoop out those places of un-forgiveness in ourselves so that we can recognize the Holy Spirit in our lives and share that Holy Spirit with others.

Sr. Mary Courts, GNSH  is a Philadelphia native who spent the majority of her religious life ministering in New York. Sister Mary was both a teacher and principal in areas such as Buffalo, Jackson Heights and Philadelphia. She later developed an interest in helping others through spiritual direction and by directing retreats. Since returning to Philadelphia in 2010, Sr. Mary has enjoyed keeping up with community and friends both here and in NY.

Feature photo courtesy of Jeremy Bishop/Unsplash

7 thoughts on “Second Sunday of Advent – Reflection for December 6, 2020

  1. Sr. Anne Zita Crudden says:

    Thank you, Mary, for your insightful reflection for this 2nd week of Advent. I often think of all those who have helped to “prepare the way” for me throughout my life. We have much for which to be grateful .

  2. Sister Rita Margraff says:

    Mary, thank you. This is such a wonderful season. You have captured some very important ideas for us to consider.

  3. Michael McClure says:

    Thank you Sr. Mary for sharing your reflections with us. You have given us so much to think about during this wonderful season.

  4. Mary Elizabeth Looby says:

    Thanks, Mary! Wonderful ponderings!

  5. Ann Neale says:

    Mary, thanks for a most thoughtful, helpful reflection on the readings.

    I hope you are well. All’s well with me.


  6. Sr. Maria Christi says:

    Thanks Mary for sharing your reflection and questions to pray about during this beautiful season
    of ADVENT.

  7. Sister Jean Liston says:

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom and insight, Mary. You have given us many questions to ponder.

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