Catechism Conection
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Second Sunday in Advent Cycle A 2016

Catechism Connections
Second Sunday of Advent  Cycle A
Isaiah 1:1-10; Psalm 72:1-2, 7-8, 12-13, 17; Romans 15:4-9; 
Matthew 3:1-12
This weekend continues our Advent journey toward the Christmas mysteries.  In the first reading from Isaiah, the prophet gives us a detailed description of what the Kingdom of God will look like when Messiah comes in the fullness of time.  Jesus inaugurates this kingdom with his entry into the human race, and his redemption of the world. He calls each of us to participate in the building up of this kingdom so that one day, the wolf shall indeed be guest of the lamb and the leopard shall lay down with the kid.  It will be a kingdom of peace.  According to Paul’s letter to the Romans, we are to work together in harmony and support of each other toward this kingdom, welcoming each other for the glory of God.  In today’s gospel from Matthew, however, we are warned by John the Baptist that the kingdom is getting near.  We are to “Prepare” for the coming of the Lord and make straight his paths.  We are to repent of our sins.  John the Baptist is the one chosen by God to be his son’s forerunner to prepare us for his coming.  Even in the womb, John leapt with joy to greet his cousin and Lord, when his mother Elizabeth greeted Mary, both of whom were with child.  Mary sang the wonderful Magnificat in response: “My soul glorifies the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” (Luke 1:46-47)  The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in paragraph 523, tells us of the importance of John the Baptist, and the roles he was destined to play. 
From the Catechism:
523St. John the Baptist is the Lord’s immediate precursor or forerunner, sent to prepare his way.  “Prophet of the Most High,” John surpasses all the prophets, of whom he is the last.  He inaugurates the Gospel, already from his mother’s womb welcomes the coming of Christ, and rejoices in being “the friend of the bridegroom,” whom he points out as “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.”  Going before Jesus “in the spirit and power of Elijah,” John bears witness to Christ in his preaching, by his baptism of conversion, and through his martyrdom.