Second Sunday of Advent

Collect:

Almighty and merciful God, may no earthly undertaking hinder those who set out in haste to meet your Son, but may our learning of heavenly wisdom gain us admittance to his company. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Each of us has to involve ourselves in the activities of the world. The clearest example of this is work. Work is necessary for us to supply for our physical needs, but we must remember that it should not be a block to our encountering of Jesus. The Church frequently prays for those who long for honest work. If we undertake our work with a Christian spirit, that is with God’s own love, then our work becomes salvific for ourselves and others.

It is important for us to study and learn divine truths if we want to be disciples of Our Lord. Knowledge about the Lord is different from knowledge of the Lord. Our study of Sacred Scripture and the Catechism should help us love the Lord better. There is a maxim which states, “you cannot love what you do not know.” This fits with St Jerome’s intuition, “ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” Since the truths of the faith are saving truths, the more we know, love, and live them, the surer our hope of salvation becomes.

Prayer over the Offerings:

Be pleased, O Lord, with our humble prayers and offerings, and, since we have no merits to plead our cause, come, we pray, to our rescue with the protection of your mercy. Through Christ our Lord.

A favorite devotion of mine, and of many, is the recitation of the Holy Rosary. Toward the end of the Rosary, the Hail Holy Queen is prayed. This prayer concludes with the acclamation, “Pray for us Most Holy Mother of God” and the response, “That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.” Asking Our Lady to make us holy, is very similar to today’s prayer over the offerings, which asks that we receive God’s mercy. Just as we cannot make ourselves holy (without grace), we cannot rescue ourselves (without God’s mercy).

Prayer after Communion:

Replenished by the food of spiritual nourishment, we humbly beseech you, O Lord, that, through our partaking in this mystery, you may teach us to judge wisely the things of earth and hold firm to the things of heaven. Through Christ our Lord.

For us to “judge wisely the things of earth,” we need to see them as they really are. Everything on earth can have to potential effects on our sanctification: to aid or to hinder. The key is that we use the things of earth so that they do not use us. Included here is the need for self-mastery. The Catechism speaks extensively of self-mastery with regards to the virtue of chastity. In a word, self-mastery allows a person to be in control. The self-mastered person is not driven about by disordered passions or an insatiable desire for material things. One of the greatest aids to achieving self-mastery is to “hold firm to the things of heaven.” When we cling to spiritual goods, we are less susceptible to be pulled down by material things. 

I would love to hear your responses/thoughts to the prayers of the 2nd Sunday of Advent, please share them in the comments.

Don’t forget to check back here everyday between now and Christmas for daily Advent reflections on the prayers of the Mass.

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