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from the House of Joseph

Weekly Reflections by Josephinum Seminarians

Second Sunday of Advent

The readings for the second Sunday of Advent resonate with a call for readiness and anticipation. Isaiah's prophetic words reassure us of God's faithfulness, promising comfort and restoration. John the Baptist's message echoes loudly—a call for repentance and preparation. His voice in the wilderness urges us to clear the path for the Lord's arrival, asking us to reflect on our lives and make space for the Messiah. In Mark's Gospel, Jesus prompts us to stay awake, emphasizing the unknown hour of His coming. This urgency encourages us to live each day with alertness and anticipation.

I can recall in my own life how it was John the Baptist’s call for repentance and preparation that ultimately led me to seminary. It was not an easy call to answer, but I knew that it was an urgent call and that, even though I had doubts about my readiness, the grace of Christ would give me the strength to answer – to make space in my heart for God’s promise for my life.

Advent is a time for us to embrace hope and eagerly await the fulfillment of God's promises in our lives. It is a time to prepare our hearts through prayer and reflection and, in joyful anticipation, make space for the Prince of Peace. Let us live in a way that reflects the hope of His coming!

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Reflection by Adam Sellers

Diocese of Birmingham in Alabama

First Sunday of Advent

In the Gospel reading for the First Sunday of Advent (Mark 13:33-37), Jesus asks his disciples to be watchful “whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning.” In a special way, this is a reminder to us to pray without ceasing – to make our very lives a prayer – giving thanks to God as we wake, offering our work up to God, modeling our family after the Holy Family, and repenting of our sinfulness at the end of the day.

As Advent begins, we anticipate both the Incarnation and the second coming. Saint Augustine says, “let us not resist his first coming, so that we may not dread the second.” Let us embrace this first coming by being watchful through fasting, repentance, and prayers of thanksgiving, so that we are ready for the second coming at any hour, “whether in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or in the morning.”

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Reflection by Christopher Dixon

Diocese of Columbus

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