December 6th: Second Week of Advent

Published December 6, 2015 by Unprodigal Daughter



Today is the beginning of the Second Week of Advent. The second candle we light is meant to represent peace. Peace is definitely a word we throw around carelessly. Saint Pope John Paul II famously said, “Peace is not just the absence of war. It involves mutual respect and confidence between peoples and nations. It involves collaboration and binding agreements. Like a cathedral, peace has to be constructed, patiently and with unshakeable faith.”

How have you been striving for peace? Too often, we divide ourselves in superficial ways–by race, by gender, by political party. There might not be bombs dropping outside of our window, but that does not mean we are in a time of peace. We have grown to be suspicious of one another. We have stopped dialoguing with those different from us. If we are to take this week of peace seriously, we need to change how we look at our neighbor. 

Christ tells us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. In order to do this, we have to stop dividing, and look for what we have in common. Do we love our neighbor when we generalize a group of people, or when we embrace an “us versus them” mentality? Probably not.

Let us seek peace together this Advent season by going out of our comfort zones to greet people we otherwise would avoid. We can also seek peace through letting things go that normally annoy us. Seeking peace can be done through daily, tiny moments and everyday interactions.

Opening Prayer

The Peace Prayer–By St. Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

Daily Readings

Reading 1: BAR 5:1-9

Jerusalem, take off your robe of mourning and misery;
put on the splendor of glory from God forever:
wrapped in the cloak of justice from God,
bear on your head the mitre
that displays the glory of the eternal name.
For God will show all the earth your splendor:
you will be named by God forever
the peace of justice, the glory of God’s worship.

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.
Led away on foot by their enemies they left you:
but God will bring them back to you
borne aloft in glory as on royal thrones.
For God has commanded
that every lofty mountain be made low,
and that the age-old depths and gorges
be filled to level ground,
that Israel may advance secure in the glory of God.
The forests and every fragrant kind of tree
have overshadowed Israel at God’s command;
for God is leading Israel in joy
by the light of his glory,
with his mercy and justice for company.

Responsorial Psalm: PS 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6

R. (3) The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those who sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
R. The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.

Reading 2: PHIL 1:4-6, 8-11

Brothers and sisters:
I pray always with joy in my every prayer for all of you,
because of your partnership for the gospel
from the first day until now.
I am confident of this,
that the one who began a good work in you
will continue to complete it
until the day of Christ Jesus.
God is my witness,
how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer:
that your love may increase ever more and more
in knowledge and every kind of perception,
to discern what is of value,
so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
filled with the fruit of righteousness
that comes through Jesus Christ
for the glory and praise of God.


Gospel: LK 3:1-6

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,
when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea,
and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee,
and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region
of Ituraea and Trachonitis,
and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,
during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,
the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.
John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan,
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
Every valley shall be filled
and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The winding roads shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

(taken from



Today is not just the second week of Advent, but it is also the feast day of St. Nicholas. We all know him fondly as “the real” Santa Claus. Some of us may know him as the Christian apologist who punched a heretic in the face (true story!). For some background on his life, enjoy this clip.

Additional Activities

If you have children, there are a number of St. Nicholas activities that are family appropriate. Some will work with adults, too (if you like cooking!). Take a look at this list of ten St. Nick’s Activities.

Closing Prayer

Lord God,
As we light the second candle of our Advent wreath,
May the light of this wreath be a sign of hope
To all people who prepare for your coming.
Let the truth of your Word lead us all
Toward your kingdom for which we long.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

(taken from Prayer for Parish Groups, by Donal Harrington and Julie Kavanagh.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: