Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Second Sunday of Advent—10 December A.D. 2017
Ave Maria!



Please pray for Alfie Evans, 16 Months old ,
another hostage of socialized medicine in Britain.

Saint John the Baptist (Titian)

Ordinary of the Mass
Mass Text - Latin
Mass Text - English
Advent, and the Blessing of the Advent Wreath

Archbishop Humphreys' Advent 2017 Pastoral Letter


“These things were written for our learning, that through patience and the comfort of the scriptures, we might have hope.”[1]

    In this morning's Gospel two of the disciples of St. John the Baptist approach our Lord to find out if “He is the One.”  “Art Thou He that is to come, or do we look for another.”[2]  John had been gathering followers in the desert, “preaching a baptism of repentance for sin,” and exhorting people to prepare for the coming of “the One who is to come.”

    Now, that one is the One whom the Jews referred to as the “Messiah,” or the “anointed one,” or in Greek, “the Christ.”  What Saint John was preaching was no innovation.  This doctrine of the coming Messiah was known to all of the Jewish people since the time of Adam, when it was foretold that God would send a Savior to “crush the head of the serpent” and redeem fallen man from original sin.[3]

    Over the centuries, God gave His people an even greater knowledge of the coming Messiah through the preaching of His prophets:

    Abraham was promised that one of his descendants would be a “blessing to all the nations.”[4]

    We read in both Isaias and Jeremias (31: 21ff) that the promised One would be born of a Virgin.  “A Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son and His name shall be called Emmanuel,” meaning “God is with His people.”[5]

    The Archangel Gabriel revealed to the prophet Daniel (9:24ff) the time of the birth of the Christ, that many of the people would deny Him, that they would put Him to death, and that the sacrifices of the Old Law would be abolished until the end of time.

    The prophet Micheas (5:2) named the place of the Messiah's birth: "out of Á Bethlehem Á will come forth the ruler of Israel."

    Likewise we hear from Aggeus (2: 8) that "the desired of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with glory."

    Jeremias (23:5) speaks of the anointed King exercising "justice and judgement over all the earth Á Juda shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell confidently."

    The Psalms are filled with references to our Lord as eternal priest and king, ruling over the nations and “a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedech.”

    But, on the other hand, Isaias (53: 1-12) speaks of the terrible price the Messiah would have to pay for our sins: "A man of sorrows, acquainted with infirmity.,,, He has borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows ... He was wounded for our iniquities, bruised for our sins ... and by His bruises we are healed ''' no deceit was found in His mouth ''' He shall lay down His life for sin.

God even spoke through the mouth of Sophoniah (3:8) of the unfaithfulness of the people of Jerusalem, of His Resurrection from the dead, and of His conversion of the gentiles and a remnant of the Jews.

    Thus the Jewish people knew that the coming Messias would be all these things; a savior, first of all for that is what the name of "Jesus" means;  a just judge and deliverer from oppression;  a bringer to earth of God's glory    but also the "suffering servant" of God and men;  one who would be rejected by the people;  one who would be put to death;  and finally, one who would rise from the dead in triumph over death.

    Even John the Baptist is hinted at by the prophet Malachy (3:1), through whom God said, “Behold I send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before my face…. the Lord whom you seek … shall come to His temple … and like a refining fire … He shall purify the sons of Levi.”[6]

    So when John's disciples approached Jesus in order to ask Him if He was the One to come, they already had a pretty good idea of what to expect.  They knew just who was coming, and where and when, and what He would be like.  And, as our Lord pointed out, they had already seen His miracles:  “The blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear, and the dead rise again.”  We read elsewhere that they left John and followed Jesus.

    Now this Gospel is read to us in order to prepare us for the coming of this same Messiah at Christmas time.  That is to say that by knowing of His role as Savior and deliver and judge and king; as well as his role as suffering servant and sacrificial victim we may be inspired to follow Him.

    That is the purpose of Advent, to review these things amidst fasting and penance, so that once again they might become real to us    so that we won't be like the people of the Old Testament, who rejected our Lord even though they knew quite well who He was.  But rather, by spending the next few weeks in contemplating the coming of our Savior, we may receive this blessing that Saint Paul wishes for us in today's epistle:

“May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing,
that we may abound in hope, and in the power of the Holy Ghost.”[7]


[1]   Epistle: Romans xv:4‑13

[2]   Gospel:  Matthew xi: 210

[3]   Genesis iii: 14-15

[4]   Genesis xxii: 18

[5]   Isaias vii: 14; Jeremias xxxi: 21ff

[6]   Malachy iii:1 ff

[7]   Epistle: Ibid.



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