Reflections on the readings of Sundays and Feasts: December 2014-February 2015


Abstract
Craig, Barry M The season of Advent is not well-defined as it flows almost seamlessly from the end-time themes of the Sundays late in Ordinary Time and turns to the approaching Nativity of Christ. Lacking an event-defining start, Advent in the Roman Rite is named as the four Sundays before Christmas, thus lasting twentyone to twenty-eight days, while in the Ambrosian Rite of Milan it is six Sundays. The elements common to each Sunday's gospel reading in the Roman Rite's three-year Lectionary reveal this sequence: Stay awake; John the Baptist is a voice crying in the wilderness 'Prepare a way for the Lord'; John the Baptist is a witness to Christ; Annunciation to Joseph, or to Mary, or the Visitation -in any case Mary is with child. Although this year, B, we follow the Gospel according to Mark, after reading its opening on the Second Sunday of Advent we do not read from it again until the feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Thus the Lectionary for Advent and Christmastide presents a melange of all four Gospels, with Mark the least represented. This is unavoidable since Mark provides no information from before the emergence of Jesus in his public ministry. However, homilists need to remember that this socalled year of Mark will have several interruptions from John's Gospel.
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