Home  |  About Us  |  Contacts  |  Products    
 News Items
 Top Stories
 News Briefs
 Also Featuring
 Movie Reviews
 Sunday Scripture
 CNS Blog
 Links to Clients
 Major Events
 2008 papal visit
 World Youth Day
 John Paul II
 For Clients
 Client Login
 CNS Insider
 We're also on ...
 RSS Feeds
 Top Stories
 Movie Reviews
 CNS Blog
 For More Info

 If you would like
 more information
 about Catholic
 News Service,
 please contact
 CNS at one of
 the following:
 (202) 541-3250


 This material
 may not
 be published,
 rewritten or
 except by
 linking to
 a page on
 this site.

  Word To Life

Sunday Scripture Readings, Dec. 9, 2012

By Jeff Hensley
Catholic News Service

December 9, Second Sunday in Advent

Cycle C. Readings:

1) Baruch 5:1-9

Psalm: 126:1-6

2) Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11

Gospel: Luke 3:1-6

I returned to faith and developed my relationship with God through Jesus in the 1970s when I both came into the Catholic Church and became involved in the Catholic charismatic renewal. I was in my early 20s.

The Vietnam War was looming, and there was talk of revolution. Some feared government reprisal as a result of their politics. The rest feared that those who threatened to (and did, in some cases) blow up buildings were much larger in numbers than they were.

It was also a time of great evangelism, both in Protestant evangelical circles and, through renewal movements, in the Catholic Church.

This week's Gospel brings the turmoil of those times to mind. It opens with a list of political figures who sought to repress religion, to force it to be expressed only in ways acceptable to the state. It was into this context that John the Baptist arose proclaiming a baptism of repentance, telling everyone, "Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths."

That is what the Year of Faith is telling us to do in our lives today. Pope Benedict XVI and the church are calling us gently but definitively to renew our faith, to deepen our personal relationships with Jesus and our prayer lives, as well as our understanding of and participation in the sacraments.

Then, from that more solid base, we are asked to turn to new means of evangelization, including social media but not neglecting face-to-face conversations with those who we know need the love of Jesus and the fellowship and structured support of the church.

The church asks this of us in the same spirit of encouragement we find in today's passage from Philippians, where Paul says his prayer for that community is "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."

We've been entrusted with a great gift; we live in difficult times; God's grace will abound.


Will you take part in the new evangelization? What can you do to help renew your relationship with God and his church?


"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." -- Philippians 1:6


Copyright © 2012 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The CNS Word To Life column may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed, including but not limited to such means as framing or any other digital copying or distribution method, in whole or in part without the prior written authority of Catholic News Service.

Questions about this Web site. Send to cns@catholicnews.com.
Copyright © 2012 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
CNS · 3211 Fourth St NE · Washington DC 20017 · 202.541.3250