DAILY MASS READINGS (December 9, 2018)


Reading 1 (BARUCH 5:1-9)

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Baruch

Jerusalem, take off your robe of mourning and misery;
put on the splendor of glory from God forever:
wrapped in the cloak of justice from God,
bear on your head the mitre
that displays the glory of the eternal name.
For God will show all the earth your splendor:
you will be named by God forever
the peace of justice, the glory of God’s worship.

Up, Jerusalem! stand upon the heights;
look to the east and see your children
gathered from the east and the west
at the word of the Holy One,
rejoicing that they are remembered by God.
Led away on foot by their enemies they left you:
but God will bring them back to you
borne aloft in glory as on royal thrones.
For God has commanded
that every lofty mountain be made low,
and that the age-old depths and gorges
be filled to level ground,
that Israel may advance secure in the glory of God.
The forests and every fragrant kind of tree
have overshadowed Israel at God’s command;
for God is leading Israel in joy
by the light of his glory,
with his mercy and justice for company.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6)

R. (3) The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing. 
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed. 
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those who sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing. 
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

Reading 2 (PHILIPPIANS 1:4-6, 8-11)

A reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Philippians

Brothers and sisters:
I pray always with joy in my every prayer for all of you, 
because of your partnership for the gospel 
from the first day until now.
I am confident of this,
that the one who began a good work in you
will continue to complete it 
until the day of Christ Jesus.
God is my witness, 
how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer:
that your love may increase ever more and more 
in knowledge and every kind of perception, 
to discern what is of value, 
so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 
filled with the fruit of righteousness 
that comes through Jesus Christ 
for the glory and praise of God.

– The word of the Lord.

Alleluia (LUKE 3:4, 6)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths:
all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (LUKE 3:1-6)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, 
when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, 
and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee,
and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region
of Ituraea and Trachonitis, 
and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, 
during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, 
the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.
John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan, 
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, 
as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
Every valley shall be filled
and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The winding roads shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: The Second and Third Sundays of Advent always focus on one prominent figure, and that is no other than the cousin of our Lord Jesus Christ, Saint John the Baptist. In the Gospel (Luke 3:1-6), the Evangelist Saint Luke gives a historical background of the leaders in Israel when Emperor Tiberius Caesar succeeded Emperor Octavian Augustus Caesar in Rome 30 years after the a Birth of Christ. But in the midst of these appointed rulers, God chooses to manifest his word through the Prophet John the Baptist. The mission of Saint John the Baptist is to prepare the People of God for the Coming of the Messiah. That is why he proclaims a baptism of repentance, reminding the people to repent and make their crooked paths straight. The message of St. John the Baptist echoes Baruch’s prophecy in the First Reading, exhorting the people of Jerusalem to take off their garments of mourning and misery, while putting on the cloak of splendor that comes from the light of the Lord. In our life today, John’s call to conversion still exists, especially during this Season of Advent. Imagine among so many leaders in the past who influenced people with their power, this man did not choose to manifest power, but rather, his preaching of repentance inspired many to prepare a people, isang sambayanan para sa ating Panginoon. Our Lord came to us when he was born in Bethlehem, and we now commemorate this during Christmas Time. At the end of time, he will come again to judge us based on what we have done on earth. And in between, he comes to us in our daily lives through the signs of the times, prayer, and the Sacraments, especially the Most Holy Eucharist. So let us ask ourselves these three questions:
1.) What are the crooked ways that we have to make straight?
2.) What are the mountains and hills that we have to level down?
3.) What are the valleys that we have to fill?
In the Second Reading (Philippians 1:4-6, 8-9), St. Paul reminds us to become faithful children of God by becoming loving and kind towards one another, as we continue to heed the message of his love. As we journey down this road, let us answer these questions by heeding the call of Saint John the Baptist, which is preparing the way of the Lord by turning away from sin and manifesting love, mercy, and compassion to others.

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