THE WORD: A weary world rejoices

PHOTO CAPTION: “St John the Baptist” by Leonardo da Vinci is a painting held in the collection of the Louvre Museum, Paris (circa 1513–1516).

The Second Sunday of Advent approaches with a traditional focus on peace — one of the elements of the Fruit of the Spirit. John the Baptist is also a focal point of the second Advent Sunday. After John baptized Jesus, the Holy Spirit descended like a dove — the symbol of peace.

The arrival of Christmas time can be stressful in any year due to family and social commitments, shopping, cooking and entertaining. During this abnormal year, the stress of lockdowns, government mandates, illness and loss can get us down. The traditional Christmas hymn “O Holy Night” offers some perspective: “A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.” The coming of Jesus Christ reminds us all that no matter the toils or the weariness hard times impose, there will ultimately be a new and glorious reality.

Mark 1: 2-4

As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.