Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11; Psalm 85:9-14; 2 Peter 3:8-14; Mark 1:1-8
Suggested Reflection Questions:
- The first reading is often used for the beginning of Advent. Concentrate on the middle part of the passage. What sort of message do you think lies in the images of the mountains being made low, the valleys filled, etc.? Why do you think Isaiah includes this “leveling” imagery? Once that is done, the “glory of the Lord shall be revealed.” Why then? How does this message apply to today?
- The psalm and the second reading speak a lot about peace and justice. We also see this imagery, again, of everything on earth being leveled and passing away or dissolved. Peter asks us to be found without spot or blemish, at peace. While it is impossible to be perfect (and Peter knows that), what does he mean when he asks us to do this? In what ways can we work toward this idea? What spiritual tools does the Church give us to do so?
- The Gospel details the story of John baptizing and preparing the people for the coming of Christ. Reflect back on your baptism or on the words the priest says when a new person or infant is baptized in church. How are you living out your baptismal promises today? How could you be doing better?