For the Second Sunday of Advent numerous references appear to Jerusalem and her people beginning with the Introit “People of Sion” for Jesus Christ will be the deliverer and and the shepherd of the faithful Jews and of the Gentiles. It is the Church’s intent that the faithful be filled with sentiments of hope and joy, for the coming of Jesus is nigh. She asks us to prepare our hearts for the Messiah: Our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ.
In the Epistle for this day, we see St. Paul’s words to the Romans, first prophesied by Isaias: “There shall come forth a root out of the rod of Jesse and a flower shall rise up out of his root.” This root, as St. Jerome explains, is the Blessed Virgin Mary and “by the flower we understand the Lord our Savior.” Moreover, the epistle is taken from the passage where St. Paul, speaking of this same root of Jesse, exhorts all who are called to the same glory to be “of one mind one towards another according to Jesus Christ.”
In the Gospel, again Isaiah is referenced for the Gentiles will enter Heaven together with the people of God. Isaiah foretold that the Messiah would be known by His miracles, and when John the Baptist himself, as the same prophet predicted, a messenger from Almighty God, sent “to prepare the way” of the Messiah, caused our Blessed Lord to be asked if He were indeed “He Who art to come,” Christ proved His Divine Mission by the miracles worked by Him. “But,” as St. Gregory the Great explains, “after so many wonders the death of Jesus caused great scandal in the hearts of men faithless to God; and Christ Himself forewarned us against this stumbling block to which the Jews fell victim,” and still do.
Holy Mother Church’s counsel is therefore to welcome our Lord in the lowliness of His manger, for then, He will welcome us in His glory when He comes again to judge the world.
The true story of Santa Claus begins with Nicholas, who was born during the third century in the village of Patara. At the time the area was Greek and is now on the southern coast of Turkey. His wealthy parents, who raised him to be a devout Christian, died in an epidemic while Nicholas was still young. Obeying Jesus’ words to “sell what you own and give the money to the poor,” Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. He dedicated his life to serving God and was made Bishop of Myra while still a young man. Bishop Nicholas became known throughout the land for his generosity to those in need, his love for children, and his concern for sailors and ships.
Under the Roman Emperor Diocletian, who ruthlessly persecuted Christians, Bishop Nicholas suffered for his faith, was exiled and imprisoned. The prisons were so full of bishops, priests, and deacons, there was no room for the real criminals—murderers, thieves and robbers. After his release, Nicholas attended the Council of Nicaea in AD 325. He died December 6, AD 343 in Myra and was buried in his cathedral church, where a unique relic, called manna, formed in his grave. This liquid substance, said to have healing powers, fostered the growth of devotion to Nicholas. The anniversary of his death became a day of celebration, St. Nicholas Day, December 6th (December 19 on the Julian Calendar).
Through the centuries many stories and legends have been told of St. Nicholas’ life and deeds. These accounts help us understand his extraordinary character and why he is so beloved and revered as protector and helper of those in need.
INTROIT Isaias 30: 30
People of Sion, behold the Lord shall come to save the nations: and the Lord shall make the glory of His voice to be heard, in the joy of your heart. (Ps. 79: 2) Give ear, O Thou that rulest Israel: Thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep. v. Glory be to the Father…
Stir up our hearts, O Lord, to prepare the ways of Thine only-begotten Son: that through His coming we may attain to serve Thee with purified minds. Who livest and reignest, with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R. Amen.
Commemoration St Nicholas of Myra
O God, Who didst adorn blessed Nicholas, the bishop, with miracles unnumbered, grant, we beseech Thee, that by his merits and prayers we may be delivered from the fires of hell. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R. Amen.
Collect for the Blessed Mother
O God, Who didst will that at the message of an angel Thy word should take flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary: grant that we, Thy suppliants, who believe her to be truly the mother of God, may be helped by her intercession with Thee.
Collect for God’s Holy Church
Graciously hear, O Lord, the prayers of Thy Church that, having overcome all adversity and every error, she may serve Thee in security and freedom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R. Amen.
EPISTLE Rom 15: 4-13
Lesson from the Epistle of Blessed Paul the Apostle to the Romans. Brethren, What things soever were written, were written for our learning: that, through patience and the comfort of the Scriptures, we might have hope. Now the God of patience and of comfort grant you to be of one mind one towards another, according to Jesus Christ: that with one mind and with one mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore receive one another, as Christ also hath received you unto the honor of God. For I say that Christ Jesus was minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers: but that the Gentiles are to glorify God for His mercy, as it is written: Therefore will I confess to Thee, O Lord, among the Gentiles, and will sing to Thy name. And again He saith: Rejoice ye Gentiles, with His people. and again, praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles, and magnify Him, all ye people. And again, Isaias saith: There shall be a root of Jesse and He that shall rise up to rule the Gentiles, in Him the Gentiles shall hope. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing: that you may abound in hope, and in the power of the Holy Ghost.
R. Thanks be to God.
GRADUAL/ALLELUIA Psalm 49: 2,3, 5
Out of Sion the loveliness of His beáuty: God shall come manifestly. V. Gather ye together His saints to Him, who have set His covenant before sacrifices. Alleluia, alleluia.. V. (Ps. 121: 1) I rejoiced at the things that were said to me: we shall go unto the house of the Lord. Alleluia.
GOSPEL Matthew 11: 2-10
At that time, when John had heard in prison the works of Christ, sending two of his disciples, he said to Him: Art thou He that art to come, or look we for another? And Jesus, making answer, said to them: “Go and relate to John what you have heard and seen. The blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead rise again, the poor have the gospel preached to them: and blessed is he who shall not be scandalized in Me.” And when they went their way, Jesus began to say to the multitudes concerning John: “What went you out into the desert to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went you out to see? A man clothed in soft garments? Behold they that are clothed in soft garments are in the houses of kings. But what went you out to see? A prophet? Yea I tell you and more than a prophet. For this is he of whom it is written: Behold I send my Angel before Thy face, who shall prepare Thy way before Thee.”
R. Praise be to Thee, O Christ.
OFFERTORY ANTIPHON Psalm 89: 7
Thou wilt turn, O God, and bring us to life, and Thy people shall rejoice in Thee: show us, O Lord, Thy mercy, and grant us Thy salvation.
Be appeased, we beseech Thee, O Lord, by the prayers and sacrifices of our humility: and where we lack pleading merits of our own, do Thou, by Thine aid, assist us. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.
Commemoration of St Nicholas of Myra
Sanctify, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, these gifts, which we offer on the solemnity of Thy holy bishop, Nicholas, that through them our lives, whether in adversity or in prosperity, may everywhere be guided aright. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
Secret for the Blessed Virgin Mary
Strengthen in our minds, O Lord, we beseech Thee, the mysteries of the true faith, that, confessing Him Who was conceived of the Virgin to be true God and true man, we may deserve, through the power of His saving resurrection, to attain everlasting joy.
Secret for God’s Holy Church
Protect us, O Lord, who assist at Thy mysteries, that, cleaving to things divine, we may serve Thee both in body and in mind. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, Forever and ever. R.Amen.
PREFACE of the Most Holy Trinity
It is truly meet and just, right and for our salvation, that we should at all times and in all places, give thanks unto Thee, O holy Lord, Father almighty, ever-lasting God: Who, together with Thine only-begotten Son, and the Holy Ghost, are one God, one Lord: not in the oneness of a single Person, but in the Trinity of one substance. For what we believe by Thy revelation of Thy glory, the same do we believe of Thy Son, the same of the Holy Ghost, without difference or separation. So that in confessing the true and everlasting Godhead, distinction in persons, unity in essence, and equality in majesty may be adored. Which the Angels and Archangels, the Cherubim also and Seraphim do praise: who cease not daily to cry out with one voice saying:
COMMUNION ANTIPHON Baruch 5: 5; 4: 36
Arise, O Jerusalem, and stand on high, and behold the joy that cometh to thee from God.
Filled with the food of Spíritual nourishment, we humbly entreat Thee, O Lord, that by our partaking of this Mystery, Thou wouldst teach us to despise the things of earth, and to love those of Heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God For ever and ever. R. Amen.
Commemoration St Nicholas of Myra
May the sacrifices of which we have partaken, O Lord, to honor the feast of Thy holy bishop, Nicholas, preserve us with their protection forevermore. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. R. Amen.
Postcommunion for the Blessed Virgin Mary
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may, by His passion and cross, be brought to the glory of His resurrection.
Postcommunion for God’s Holy Church
O Lord our God, we pray Thee that Thou suffer not to succumb to human hazards those whom Thou hast been pleased to make sharers of divine mysteries. Through the Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever. R. Amen.