English Español Mary Immaculate
Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA

God’s Reconstruction Plan

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Up, Jerusalem! stand upon the heights; look to the east and see your children gathered from the east and the west at the word of the Holy One, rejoicing that they are remembered by God.” Baruch 5:5

Today Luke solemnly announces the names of the secular and sacred powers who thought they held the world’s destiny in their hands. But they completely missed the decisive event that forever changed the world’s religious and political history. When no one else was listening, God’s Word came to a nobody, John the Baptist, and not in the temple sanctuary or a palace throne room, but “out in the sticks,” the Word that would one day cleanse the temple and topple thrones. The powerful names that Luke announces were not popular with ordinary people: times were tough, the economy was bad, people were having to make do with less; land those names reminded common folks that so much of life as beyond their control. Sound familiar? Yet just then, when many were far from hopeful, God acted decisively to save the people, and John the Baptist invited his listeners then, and us today, to join in the Good News of new life.

We heard Baruch, in the first reading, picturing our broken world reborn: the dispersed being carried home, tears wiped away, righteousness and justice, peace and worship. How we wish it could all be true! It will be true, Paul declares, optimistic hat God, who has already begun such good work in us, will continue to complete it for the day of Christ’s glorious return, increasing our love and sharpening our discernment of the values hat endure. So we should begin this second week of Advent reinvigorated with hope in God’s plan for the world’s salvation. But John the Baptist reminds us that God’s “reconstruction plan” or the world’s transformation begins much closer to home: what twists and turns of my own life must be untangled, what lofty mountains of my own pride and self-centeredness brought low,
which gorge-deep valleys of my own indifference and neglect illed in? Come, Lord Jesus, and make the whole creation new— but start right here, right now, with me!

Readings for the Week

Monday: Is 35:1-10; Ps 85:9-14; Lk 5:17-26
Tuesday: Is 40:1-11; Ps 96:1-3, 10ac, 11-13; Mt 18:12-14
Wednesday: Gn 3:9-15, 20; Ps 98:1-4; Eph 1:3-6, 11-12; Lk 1:26-38
Thursday: Is 41:13-20; Ps 145:1, 9-13ab; Mt 11:11-15
Friday: Is 48:17-19; Ps 1:1-4, 6; Mt 11:16-19
Saturday: Sir 48:1-4, 9-11; Ps 80: 2ac, 3b, 15-16, 18-19; Mt 17:9a, 10-13
Sunday: Zep 3:14-18a; Is 12:2-3, 4, 5-6; Phil 4:4-7; Lk 3:10-18

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Second Sunday of Advent
Monday: St. Nicholas
Tuesday: St. Ambrose; Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
Wednesday: The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Thursday: St. Juan Diego
Friday: Our Lady of Loreto
Saturday: St. Damasus I

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