In what does the Advent preparation consist? Putting on the Lord through faith. "Faith is a liberation of my 'I' from its preoccupation with self, a liberation that sets me free to respond to the Father, to speak the 'Yes' of love that sets me free to say 'Yes' to being... The act of faith is a breaking open of the door of my subjectivity" (Pope Benedict XVI).
R. Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.2nd Reading:
John's preaching of repentance is not a moralistic ultimatum intended to terrify us into submission. He wants, rather, to prepare the hearts of his listeners for the One they have been awaiting all along... For a thing can only be received if the one who is to receive it is genuinely disposed for this. So John preaches, hope is the One who tames the savage beast and puts an end to harm and ruin... The natural response to the hope this gives us is what we call "metanoia": a change of outlook, or repentance.
R. Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.2nd Reading:
John's heart contains but one question: "Are you the one who is to come?" John's longing for Christ is what keeps him looking eagerly to each new day. He lives with the expectation that he will "see the glory of the Lord, the splendour of our God." When John hears of the miraculous benefits according to the blind, lame, poor and all those in need, he will know that the One he has waited for has come: the God of mercy. The greatness of John the Baptist is that he refuses to settle for anything less.
R. Lord, come and save us.2nd Reading:
The angel points to the Prophet Isaiah in order to persuade the dreaming Joseph to take Mary, his wife, into his home: "the maiden is with child and will soon give birth to a son whom she will call Emmanuel." Why does Joseph believe this dream? Maybe it is because Joseph was a "son of David"... and Isaiah's prophecy was intended directly and specifically for the "House of David". And thanks to Joseph's subsequent "obedience of faith", the incarnate Christ was genealogically a true "descendant of David".
R. Let the Lord enter; he is king of glory.2nd Reading:
The feast of The Holy Family inspires us to have confidence that God himself takes an interest in the generation of human life, and blesses the loving union of man and woman. "The family is the community in which, from childhood, one can learn moral values, begin to honour God, and make good use of freedom" (CCC 2207). The grace of the incarnate Word sanctifies and protects family life, making it a true path to holiness. "The family of Nazareth was holy because it was centred on Jesus" (Pope Francis).
R. Happy are those who fear the Lord and walk in his ways.2nd Reading: