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Saturday of the 2nd Week of Advent

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

  • First ReadingSirach 48:1-4, 9-11: Elijah, a prophet of fiery words, performed miraculous deeds, influencing nature and demonstrating God’s power. Taken to heaven in a whirlwind, he’s destined to return before the Lord’s day.
  • Responsorial PsalmPsalm 80: A plea for Israel’s shepherd, God, to manifest His power and care. Asking for His attention and protection, that the people may remain faithful and revitalized in His presence.
  • Gospel Matthew 17:9a, 10-13: Descending the mountain, the disciples queried Jesus about Elijah’s prophesied return. Jesus confirmed Elijah’s role in restoring all things but revealed that Elijah, in the form of John the Baptist, had come unnoticed and suffered mistreatment. This clarified that the Son of Man would similarly endure suffering.

Elijah will indeed come and restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him but did to him whatever they pleased.

Matthew 17:11-12

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

  • Understanding of Prophecy: The disciples’ inquiry about Elijah and Jesus’ explanation that Elijah has already come (referring to John the Baptist) highlight the importance of understanding prophecy in the context of its fulfillment in Jesus. This theme encourages a deeper exploration and understanding of how Old Testament prophecies are fulfilled in the New Testament.
  • Role of John the Baptist as Elijah: Jesus identifies John the Baptist as the Elijah who was to come. This underscores John’s role in preparing the way for Jesus, aligning with the prophecy of Malachi. It invites reflection on how John the Baptist’s ministry paved the way for Christ.
  • Rejection of the Prophet: The mistreatment of John the Baptist, which foreshadows Jesus’ own suffering and rejection, points to a common theme of prophets facing rejection and hardship. This theme challenges believers to consider how they receive God’s messengers and the truth they bring.
  • Preparation for the Coming of the Lord: In the context of Advent, this passage calls attention to preparing for the Lord’s coming, both in celebrating His birth and anticipating His second coming. It emphasizes the need for spiritual readiness and openness to God’s plan.
  • The Continuity of God’s Plan: Jesus’ discussion about Elijah and John the Baptist illustrates the continuity and consistency in God’s plan for salvation. It invites believers to appreciate the interconnectedness of biblical events and figures in the overarching narrative of salvation.

Thoughts for Saturday of the 2nd Week of Advent

In the Gospel reading for Saturday of the Second Week of Advent, Matthew 17:9a, 10-13, Jesus identifies John the Baptist as the Elijah who was to come, a key figure in the expectation of the Jewish people. This identification is significant, as it highlights the role of John the Baptist as a forerunner and a prophet, akin to Elijah, preparing the way for the Messiah. However, Jesus notes that the people did not recognize him as such. This lack of recognition is not just a historical observation but a prompt for introspection, especially during Advent.

The season of Advent is a time of preparation and waiting, but also of recognition – recognizing the presence of God in our lives and the ways He speaks to us. Jesus’ words encourage us to reflect on how we recognize and respond to the ‘prophets’ in our own lives, those individuals who, like John the Baptist, challenge us and speak difficult truths.

The idea of prophets in our everyday lives is a challenging but essential concept to ponder. In today’s world, prophets may not necessarily be religious figures, but they are often those who have the courage to speak out against injustice, to challenge the status quo, or to offer a different perspective that calls for change or repentance. They could be friends, family members, colleagues, or even public figures who, by their words or actions, compel us to confront uncomfortable truths about ourselves and our societies.

As we engage with the Gospel reading, it’s worth asking ourselves: Who are the ‘John the Baptists’ in our lives today? Are there voices we are ignoring or dismissing because their messages are inconvenient or challenging?

This reflection leads to a deeper question of our responsiveness. How do we react when confronted with these difficult truths? Do we dismiss them, as the people in Jesus’ time did with John the Baptist, or do we listen and reflect, even if it leads to uncomfortable self-examination? Advent is an opportune time to cultivate a heart that is open to change and conversion. It invites us to be attentive and responsive to the prophetic voices around us, recognizing that they can be vehicles of God’s guidance and wisdom.

As we continue our Advent journey, let’s pray for the grace to be open to these voices, to discern their messages, and to respond with humility and a willingness to grow and change. In doing so, we prepare ourselves not just for the celebration of Christmas, but for the ongoing transformation that Christ seeks to work in us.

Prayer

Jesus, thank you for the people in my life who lead me closer to you, even as I resist. And grant me the grace to do the same for others. Amen.

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

Word on Fire: Herald in the Desert

In Bishop Barron’s reflection on the Gospel for Saturday of the 2nd Week of Advent, he presents John the Baptist as the embodiment of the prophet Elijah, symbolizing humanity’s need for grace in the “desert” of sin. John’s ministry in the desert signifies our spiritual barrenness and need for divine intervention. His call for a baptism of repentance resonates deeply, as it addresses our innate desire to turn our lives over to a higher power. Bishop Barron emphasizes that John, like Old Testament prophets, dramatizes the people’s spiritual condition—helplessness and neediness before God. Yet, he doesn’t stop at highlighting human inadequacy; he heralds the coming of one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit, offering hope and renewal.

USCCB Video Reflection: The Prophetic Call to Justice and Mercy

On the Saturday of the 2nd Week of Advent, the Gospel reflects on John the Baptist as a figure paralleling the Prophet Elijah. Both prophets, zealous in their mission, faced significant hardships and opposition for confronting corrupt leaders. This narrative sets the stage for Jesus’ ministry and his ultimate sacrifice, highlighting the theme of God’s kingdom challenging earthly powers. Advent, therefore, is portrayed not just as a time of serene celebration but as a reminder of God’s commitment to justice and mercy, especially for the poor and oppressed. It is a call to confront corruption, both in the world and within ourselves, with the hope that God, having shared in human suffering, triumphs over sin and death.

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

What liturgical date is Saturday of the 2nd Week of Advent?

The next date is Saturday December 14, 2024.

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

The Mass readings for Saturday December 14, 2024 are:
First Reading – Sirach 48:1-4, 9-11: Elijah’s Fiery Zeal
Responsorial Psalm – Psalm 80: Prayer for Divine Shepherd
Gospel – Matthew 17:9a, 10-13: Elijah’s Coming Explained

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

Sirach 48 recounts the mighty deeds of the prophet Elijah, emphasizing his role in God’s plan. His prophesied return before the “Lord’s day” ties into Advent themes of anticipation and preparation for the coming of the Lord.

How does the responsorial psalm for Saturday of the 2nd Week of Advent connect with the themes for the day?

Psalm 80’s plea for God’s care and attention resonates with Advent’s call for divine intervention and guidance. It reflects a longing for God’s presence and restoration, themes central to the season of Advent.

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

In Matthew 17:9a, 10-13, Jesus identifies John the Baptist as the Elijah who was to come, underscoring the fulfillment of prophecy. This revelation highlights the importance of recognizing and understanding God’s work in the world, a key aspect of Advent.

How is Elijah’s return as John the Baptist relevant, as mentioned in the Gospel for Saturday of the 2nd Week of Advent?

he return of Elijah in the person of John the Baptist signifies the fulfillment of prophecies and the preparation for Christ’s coming. Matthew 17:9a, 10-13 is particularly relevant in Advent, a time dedicated to preparing for the celebration of Jesus’ birth and His eventual second coming.

What lesson can be drawn from the disciples’ misunderstanding about Elijah in the Gospel for Saturday of the 2nd Week of Advent?

The disciples’ misunderstanding teaches the importance of spiritual insight and openness to God’s ways, which may differ from expectations. Matthew 17:9a, 10-13 encourages believers during Advent to seek deeper understanding and clarity about God’s plans.

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

These readings collectively emphasize the fulfillment of prophecy, the role of key figures like Elijah and John the Baptist in preparing for Christ, and the need for spiritual discernment. They remind believers of the importance of preparation and understanding in the journey towards Christ’s coming.

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

A homily or reflection could focus on the continuity of God’s prophetic mission. This theme links Elijah’s powerful prophetic role in Sirach, the longing for God’s intervention in Psalm 80, and the fulfillment of Elijah’s return in John the Baptist as explained by Jesus in Matthew.

How can these readings inspire personal reflection on Saturday of the 2nd Week of Advent?

These readings invite reflection on the role of prophets in preparing for God’s actions and the fulfillment of His promises. They encourage contemplation on how we recognize and respond to God’s interventions in our lives and the importance of prophecy in understanding God’s plan.

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

The readings inspire an appreciation for the continuity of God’s work through prophets and an awareness of His ongoing presence in the world. Practically, this means staying attentive to the ways God speaks and acts in our times, being open to His guidance, and preparing ourselves for the fulfillment of His promises, especially during the season of Advent.

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