December 10, 2006
Catechist Background and Preparation
Spend a few minutes reflecting on what these readings mean for you today. Was there a particular reading which appealed to you? Was there a word or image that engaged you?
Read the Word in Liturgy and Catholic Doctrine sections. These give you background on what you will be doing this session. Read over the session outline and make it your own. Check to see what materials you will need for the session.
The Word in Liturgy
Who is to see this vision? In the passage itself, the spectators are two. Jerusalem is urged to see and welcome it, and “all the earth” will see it as well.
In today’s gospel, Luke quotes Isaiah 40:3-5 (the same passage that Baruch has paraphrased) when describing the role of John the Baptist in preparing the way for Christ’s coming. Anchored firmly in history, yet employing the rich symbolism of prophetic language, Luke’s description of John the Baptist heightens our anticipation of this Lord whom John announces. Significantly, Luke adds a final sentence from Isaiah 52:10b: “All the earth will see the salvation of God.” The coming of Jesus is an event of salvation that will be seen by all people. What we prepare for in Advent is of universal significance.
God’s promise of salvation, foretold by the prophets, forms our future in faith. In the preface for Advent I we pray to God, “when [Jesus] humbled himself to come among us. . . . he fulfilled the plan you formed long ago and opened for us the way. . . .Now we watch for the day, hoping the salvation promised us will be ours” (Roman Missal, Preface I for Advent). The message of salvation, impressed upon us by the prophets, makes us who we are this Advent, a people who watch for the day, hoping God’s promise will be ours.