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.
Saint Barbara was from Heliopolis of Phoenicia and lived during the reign of Maximian, during the third century. The daughter of a wealthy, pagan idolater named Dioscorus; she was raised in the belief of polytheism.
Highly intelligent and extremely beautiful, St. Barbara was ordered to live her life imprisoned in the tower by her jealous father. Vowing to protect her from the outside world, he forbade her association with friends and St. Barbara only came in contact with teachers and servants who had been carefully instructed that she be taught how to worship the pagan gods.
One day, as her father was leaving for a business trip, he ordered a bathhouse be built for Saint Barbara. He gave specific instructions for the design of the building, commanding the workers to install only two windows. Having learned about the teachings of Christ, St. Barbara’s belief in Christianity became firm. During her father’s absence she instructed the workmen to install three windows to symbolize the Holy Trinity.
When Dioscorus returned, he was enraged at the changes and infuriated with St. Barbara when she confessed that she was a Christian. He took her before the prefect of the province, who decreed she be tortured and beheaded, as was the punishment for Christians during this time. It was Dioscorus who rendered the death sentence to St. Barbara. On his way home, he was struck by lightning and killed instantly.
It is because of this legend of Saint Barbara that she came to be known as Saint Barbara the saint of danger from thunderstorms, fires and sudden death. When gunpowder was introduced in the Western world, Saint Barbara was invoked for protection against explosion and soon was regarded as the patroness of the artillerymen.
Who is Saint Barbara? She is the patron saint of firefighters, sailors, artillerymen and anyone who is in danger of sudden death. A young virgin who chose a violent death rather than deny Christ; she is a saint in the highest tradition.
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 S. Barbara virgin and martyr
O God, Who among the other miracles of Your power have bestowed the victory of martyrdom even upon the weaker sex, graciously grant that we who commemorate the anniversary of the death of blessed Barbara, Your Virgin and Martyr, may come to You by the path of her example.
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 S. Barbara virgin and martyr
Accept, O Lord, the gifts we bring on the festival of blessed Barbara, Your Virgin and Martyr, through whose patronage we hope to be delivered.
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 S. Barbara virgin and martyr
May the sacrament we have received, aid us, O Lord, and by the intercession of blessed Barbara, Your Virgin and Martyr, may it keep us forevermore under Your everlasting protection.
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.