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Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent

Daily Mass Readings for Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent

  • First ReadingIsaiah 48:17-19: The Lord, Israel’s redeemer, promises guidance for their good. Following His commandments will bring abundant prosperity, endless descendants, and an everlasting name before Him.
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 1: Blessed are those who avoid evil and cherish God’s law. Like a thriving tree, they will prosper in all they do, under God’s watchful care, unlike the fleeting way of the wicked.
  • Gospel Matthew 11:16-19: Jesus likened the current generation to children in marketplaces, discontent with any approach: they criticized John the Baptist for his asceticism, labeling him demon-possessed, and condemned Jesus for his sociability, accusing him of excess. He concluded that true wisdom is proven right by its outcomes, regardless of criticisms.

For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.

Matthew 11:18-19

Themes for the Gospel for Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent

  • Rejection of God’s Messengers: Jesus compares the generation to children who are dissatisfied regardless of the approach – neither responding to John the Baptist’s asceticism nor to Jesus’ engagement with society. This theme highlights the tendency to reject God’s messengers when their message challenges or contradicts personal expectations or societal norms.
  • Contrast Between Jesus and John the Baptist: The contrasting lifestyles of John and Jesus, and the criticisms they both faced, underscore that no single approach to ministry will please everyone. This suggests the diverse ways God’s message can be manifested and the need for openness to different expressions of faith.
  • The Wisdom of God’s Ways: Jesus concludes by saying that wisdom is proved right by her deeds, implying that the truth of God’s ways is evidenced in the outcomes they produce. This theme encourages discernment based on the fruits of one’s beliefs and actions, rather than superficial judgments.
  • Call to Discernment and Openness: The passage invites believers to self-examination and discernment in their response to God’s word. It challenges preconceived notions about how God should act and who His messengers might be.
  • Advent as a Time of Receptive Listening: During Advent, this reading calls for a posture of receptive listening and openness. It invites the faithful to be attentive to the various ways God may be speaking in their lives and to be wary of dismissive attitudes.

Thoughts for Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent

In the Gospel for Friday of the Second Week of Advent, Matthew 11:16-19, Jesus addresses the attitude of the people who are dissatisfied and critical, regardless of what He does. He compares them to children in the marketplace who are not pleased whether others dance or mourn. This narrative is strikingly relevant as it mirrors a common human tendency to want God to fit into our preconceived notions and expectations.

During Advent, a season of reflection and preparation, this passage challenges us to examine our attitudes towards Jesus’ work in our lives. Are we like those in the gospel, quick to complain or dismiss when God’s actions do not align with our expectations? Do we try to confine Jesus to the limits of what we find comfortable or understandable, rather than trusting in His greater plan?

Jesus’ response to the criticisms – highlighting how neither He nor John the Baptist could satisfy the fickle expectations of the crowd – encourages us to reflect on the danger of wanting to pick and choose how Jesus works in our lives. Just as the people in the gospel dismissed both John’s austerity and Jesus’ engagement with sinners, we too can fall into the trap of wanting a Christ who conforms to our desires and biases.

However, Advent calls us to open our hearts and minds to the fullness of Jesus’ mission and message. It’s a time to let go of our preconceptions and embrace the sometimes-uncomfortable ways Jesus may be calling us to grow and change. Do we trust in His wisdom and guidance, even when it challenges us or leads us down unexpected paths?

This passage ultimately invites a deep introspection on our openness to Jesus’ transformative presence in our lives. It’s a call to humility, recognizing that God’s ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts. As we continue our journey through Advent, let’s strive to be receptive to the diverse ways Jesus comes into our lives. Whether through the quiet whisper in prayer, the challenges and struggles we face, or the joy and beauty of everyday moments, Jesus is constantly at work. This Advent, let us pray for the grace to welcome Him in all His manifestations, trusting that He knows and provides what we truly need for our spiritual journey.

Prayer

Jesus, help me let go of my preconceptions about who you should be. Let me listen to you instead. Amen.

Homilies and Reflections for Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent

Word on Fire: The Convivial Christ

In Bishop Barron’s reflection for Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent, he interprets Jesus’ life and ministry through the symbolism of sacred meals. Jesus, who began life in a manger and ended it with the Last Supper, symbolizes nourishment for a spiritually hungry world. His public ministry focused on inclusive meals, welcoming all, including sinners and outcasts, reflecting God’s desire for fellowship. This practice contrasted with perceptions of John the Baptist’s asceticism and critiques of Jesus as indulgent. Barron connects these meals to the Passover, a remembrance of liberation from slavery, embodying both the bitterness of captivity and the sweetness of freedom. The Eucharist anticipates eternal fellowship with God, existing between Christ’s death and His anticipated return.

USCCB Reflection: Sometimes You Just Can’t Win

This USCCB video reflection for Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent points out that pleasing everyone is impossible, even for Jesus. The Gospel of Matthew describes critics contrasting Jesus’ lifestyle with John the Baptist’s austerity, neither finding favor. Jesus highlights this fickleness, likening critics to children unhappy with both dancing and mourning. This passage, reflecting on wisdom vindicated by works, invites us to see God’s revelation through Jesus’ actions, including his association with sinners. This challenges our preconceptions, urging us to accept the full scope of Jesus’ message and mission, not just parts that suit our preferences. As part of Advent, it’s a call to align our expectations with God’s, embracing Jesus’ teachings in their entirety.

Frequently Asked Questions for Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent

What date is Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent?

The next date is Friday December 13, 2024.

What are the Mass readings for Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent?

The Mass readings for Friday December 13, 2024 are:
First Reading – Isaiah 48:17-19: The Lord’s Guidance and Promise
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 1: The Way of the Righteous
Gospel – Matthew 11:16-19: Unheeded Messages

What is the significance of the first reading for Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent?

Isaiah 48:17-19 emphasizes God’s guidance and the blessings of following His commandments. During Advent, this message underscores the importance of heeding God’s guidance, as exemplified by Jesus, and the abundant life that comes from aligning with His will.

How does the responsorial psalm for Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent relate?

Psalm 1, highlighting the blessings of those who follow God’s law, aligns with Advent’s focus on preparation and righteous living. It encourages believers to reflect on their adherence to God’s ways as they await the celebration of Christ’s birth.

What does the Gospel for Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent signify?

In Matthew 11:16-19, Jesus criticizes the generation’s dissatisfaction with both John’s asceticism and His own approach. It illustrates the challenge of discerning and accepting God’s messengers, a theme relevant in Advent as believers prepare to welcome Christ anew.

How can Jesus’ comparison to children in marketplaces in the Gospel for Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent be applied?

In Matthew 11:16-19, Jesus’ comparison calls for self-reflection on how we respond to God’s messages and messengers. During Advent, this invites believers to be open and receptive, not dismissive, to the ways God speaks to us, especially in the unexpected.

What is the lesson from the different receptions of John and Jesus in the Gospel for Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent?

The varied criticisms of John and Jesus teach that God’s truth and wisdom often face misunderstanding and rejection. Matthew 11:16-19 challenges believers to look beyond superficial judgments and discern the deeper truth in God’s revelations.

What overarching message do these readings offer for Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent?

These readings collectively emphasize the blessings of following God’s ways, the challenge of discerning God’s truth, and the importance of preparing hearts and minds to receive Christ. They encourage a reflective and open stance towards God’s guidance and wisdom.

What is a common theme for a reflection or homily based on these readings for Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent?

A reflection or homily could focus on the blessings of divine wisdom and obedience. This theme ties together the rewards of following God’s commandments in Isaiah, the flourishing of the righteous in Psalm 1, and the recognition of true wisdom in Jesus’ teachings in Matthew.

How can these readings for Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent inspire personal reflection?

These readings invite reflection on the importance of aligning with God’s wisdom and commandments. They encourage contemplation on our response to divine teachings and the discernment of true wisdom in our lives, especially during the reflective season of Advent.

What practical application can be drawn from these readings for Friday of the 2nd Week of Advent?

The readings inspire a commitment to living in accordance with God’s guidance and seeking His wisdom in our decisions. Practically, this means avoiding paths of wrongdoing, cherishing and applying God’s teachings, and understanding that true wisdom is often validated through its positive outcomes in our lives and communities.

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