Second Sunday of Advent, December 8, 2019, Year A

Please see How to Use Lection Connection

Full lections can be read here.

 

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Isaiah 11:1-10)

Through Isaiah, the Lord announces that the line of King David’s father Jesse will be revived with the coming of a righteous and just ruler endowed with the Spirit of God. The nations will notice when the poor and meek thrive and even the brutality of nature is transformed.

Psalm (72:1-7, 18-19)

The Psalmist prays that his current king, or perhaps a future king, will be a righteous judge who delivers the poor and punishes the oppressor. Long may his reign of prosperity, righteousness, and peace, endure. The Lord, whose glory already fills the earth, will accomplish all of this.

Second Reading (Romans 15:4-13)

St. Paul urges the Romans to live in harmony, especially in giving glory to God. They should imitate Jesus, who has welcomed them, as Gentiles, into his kingdom. This was foreseen in the ancient promises of Scripture which looked to the line of Jesse for the hope of the nations.

Gospel (Matthew 3:1-12)

Matthew tells us that the appearance of John the Baptist is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s word regarding the forerunner of the Lord. John insists that what God demands is true repentance and warns that one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit and the fire of judgment is coming.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The Lord uses both establishment and outsider types to fulfill his plan
  • Jesus is the hope of the nations
  • The arrival of the Kingdom of God is good news and bad news because Jesus is both universal king and judge
  • Jesus is the expected Davidic king and judge
  • It is all according to Plan

Baptism of the Lord, January 13, 2019, Year C

Please see How to Use Lection Connection 

Full lections can be read here.

Based on the Readings as Set

First Reading (Isaiah 43:1-7)

After informing Israel that her exile was the result of disobedience, Isaiah now reassures her she will pass through these menacing waters because the Lord has created and redeemed her. Giving the nations in exchange, he will gather home her offspring, all those called by his name.

Psalm (29)

The Psalmist calls all heavenly beings to worship Yahweh for his glory and strength, demonstrated by his voice shaking the very earth. All in his temple cry “Glory!” to the eternal king who sits above the flood. May he bless his people with strength and peace.

Second Reading (Acts 8:14-17)

The Apostles in Jerusalem hear that the Word of God had been accepted outside of the Holy Land in Samaria. They send Peter and John to this group who had only been baptized in water and when the Apostles lay hands upon them, they receive the Holy Spirit for the first time.

Gospel (Luke 3:15-17, 21-22)

John the Baptist raises expectations in the people that he might be the Messiah, but he claims that a much greater one is coming who will baptize them with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Upon Jesus himself being baptized, a heavenly voice proclaims him as the beloved Son of God.

CONNECTION SUGGESTIONS

  • The waters of baptism are both disturbing and assuring
  • Jesus identifies with the historical experience of Israel
  • What Jesus brings overflows the expectations of Israel
  • The God of all creation has acted definitively in the arrival of the Christ
  • Christian baptism has both inner and outer dimensions