Cycle A 2nd Sunday of Advent

 Is. 11:1-10; Rom. 15:4-9; Mt. 3:1-12

Today's First Reading from the Book of Isaiah [Is. 11:1-10] consisted of a descriptive prophecy related to the coming of the ideal king from David's line. It began by proclaiming that "A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots." [Is. 11:1] Jesse was the father of king David, from whom the Judean kings descended.

When Isaiah said, "The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them..." [Is. 11:6] he was providing a picture of a Messianic era when paradise would be restored. 

The Gospel of Matthew affirms that Jesus was the King referred to, He being of the root of Jesse who was the father of David. [Mt. 1:5-6; Rev. 5:5, 22:16]

Cycle A 1st Sunday of Advent

 Is. 2:1-5; Rom. 13:11-14; Mt. 24:37-44

Today, we are celebrating the First Sunday of Advent. No one really knows when Advent first began. However, in the late 400s, St. Gregory of Tours wrote in the History of the Franks that St. Perpetuus decreed a three-week fast from the time of the feast of St. Martin until Christmas. Whether this was a new custom being instated or an existing observance being enforced in 567 at the second Council of Yours, monks began to practice fasting on the first of December through Christmas day.

Today's First Reading from the Book of Isaiah was a prophecy of the incarnation of the Lord God through Jesus Christ. It says, "In days to come the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the highest of the mountains and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it." The reading continues, "Many peoples shall come and say, 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.'

Cycle [C] Christ the King

2 Sam 5:1-3; Col 1:12-20; Lk 23:35-43

 

In the poem Ozymandias, the speaker recalls having met a traveler “from an antique land.” He told him a story about the ruins of a statue in the desert. Two vast legs of stone stand without a body, and near them a massive, crumbling stone head lies “half sunk” in the sand. The face reflects a frown and “sneer of cold command.” The memory of those emotions survives "stamped" on the lifeless statue. On the pedestal of the statue appear the words, “My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: “Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” But around the decaying ruin of the statue, nothing remains, only the “lone and level sands,” which stretch out as far as the eye can see.

 

“Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!” With that, the poet demolishes our imaginary picture of the king, and interposes centuries of ruin between the mighty kings and us: All the works of the mighty kings sink into oblivion in the