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November 30, 2011

Second Sunday of Advent: Comfort

Readings for the Second Sunday of Advent

“Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God.” In this proclamation, the prophet Isaiah not only captures the role of Jesus Christ, the comforter, he addresses the very essence of Christ — “like a shepherd he feeds his flock: in his hands he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care.”
Yes! It is this Christ that we await. The only begotten Son of God, the Redeemer of the world, the one who proclaims, “I have come that they (all) might have life and have it abundantly.” In Psalm 85, we are reminded that we await the Christ in whose person “kindness and truth…justice and peace shall kiss.”
The story is told of a Jewish rabbi (and later convert to Catholicism), Israel Zolli, whose immense grief after the death of his wife during childbirth, led him to seek consolation in the Hebrew scripture and in the New Testament. Zolli writes, “All at once, and without knowing why, I placed my pen on the table and, as though in an ecstasy, I invoked the name of Jesus. I found no peace until I beheld him in a large unframed picture in a dark corner of the room…experiencing rather a perfect serenity of mind.”
This story of the grieving rabbi accurately demonstrates how Christ, by his very nature, by the very proclamation of his name and message, is able to bring comfort, consolation, peace, redemption, and mercy to all. In today’s Gospel, we see John the Baptist comparing his baptism with that of Christ — “I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” Christ does not baptize his children with water rather he baptizes and nourishes us with the “oil of salvation,” an abundance of hope, serenity and love.
On this Second Sunday of Advent, this is the Christ that we anticipate; this is the baptism that our world so desperately needs. May Christ who is Comforter, Redeemer, Hope and Love, fill us with that grace necessary to comfort the sorrowing, to bring redemption to those most in need, to give hope to the hopeless and to be havens of love for all people!
Calvin Auguiste, C.Ss.R., professed his first vows as a Redemptorist in August 2011. He is a fourth-year philosophy student at St. John's University in New York, NY, and is a member of the Redemptorist formation community at Immaculate Conception Church in the Bronx, NY.




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Comments (2) total

kevin macdonald | Sun 12/04/2011 10:12 PM

Way to go, Calvin. Thanks for the message. All the way with the Redeemer...K Mac

Mrs. Sheila Ballard de Graziani, M.A.T.B. | Mon 12/05/2011 7:31 PM

Brother Auguiste, thank you for your writing! I share an experience with the Rabbi. I arrived to Puerto Rico in 1954 and visited the Catholic Church for the first time. As soon as I saw Virgin Mary's statue in the church I asked my aunt about her. (I had been going to a Methodist Church in Va., where my father and I were born and where his greatgrandfather had built the old Method Church where he was Pastor.) My aunt told me about Virgin Maruy and the devotion to the Mother of God. I continued to go to mass and finally, when I was 15 years old my father allowed me to change my religious profession to Catholic. My sisters and I were baptized on the same day and received the Body of Christ for the same time. Since then and many years afterwards I studied to become a Catechist, a teacher to help form new Catechists; then evangelized together with my husband and the CSsR's in Puerto Rico and worked at the Retreat House as a Volunteer for retreats and spiritual workshops; a Master's Degree in Biblical Theology, Masters in Pastoral, and counselor. Praised be the Lord JESUS, our Redeemer and Saviour and Mother Mary of Perpetual Help. I am proud and honored to be part of the Redemptorist family where I have met so many living saints. I, now, work as a Catechist taching 4th grade in Orlando, Fl. Praised be the Lord! May God bless you and continue to inspire you in your writings! Sheila Ballard de Graziani

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