An excellent way to focus our thoughts and deepen our understanding of the meaning of Advent is to turn to the Bible. Sometimes, however, it’s hard to know where to start. That is why the Catholic Church has provided us with the Office of the Readings, part of the Liturgy of the Hours, the official prayer of the Church. In the Office of the Readings, the Church has chosen Scripture passages that are appropriate to every day of the year.
Every season of the Church year has a certain theme or themes. During Advent, the Church turns to the Old Testament book of the Prophet Isaiah. There are many themes in Isaiah's prophecy, but some of the most important are:
- The need for repentance
- Spiritual conversion
- The extension of salvation from Israel to all nations
This article contains a link to the Scripture reading for each day of the second week of Advent, as well as a brief commentary on that reading.
As we enter the second week of Advent, we continue reading from the book of the Prophet Isaiah. In today's selection, the Lord calls on the inhabitants of Jerusalem—those who have been saved—to mourn for their past sins, yet they continue to celebrate. They aren't thankful to God for saving them, and thus the Lord vows to humble them.
True repentance means conforming ourselves to the way of the Lord. In this reading for the second Monday of Advent from the Prophet Isaiah, we see the Lord overturning all of human society, because of the sins and transgressions of the people. To be pleasing in the eyes of the Lord, we must humble ourselves.
Isaiah prophesied not only about the coming of Christ as a child in Bethlehem, but about the final reign of Christ as King over all the earth. In this selection for the second Tuesday of Advent, Isaiah tells us of the final judgment.
Yesterday, we read of the final judgment of God on the actions of men; today, in the reading for the second Wednesday of Advent, we hear the promise of Christ's reign over all the nations. The earth will be remade; death shall be destroyed; and men shall live in peace. The humble and the poor will be exalted, but the haughty will be humbled.
Earlier in the second week of Advent, Isaiah has shown us the judgment of the Lord, and the establishment of His reign on earth. On the second Thursday of Advent, we hear from the just man, who does not fear the justice of the Lord or complain about his own punishment, but looks forward to the resurrection from the dead.
The Lord, Isaiah prophesied, would destroy the vineyard—the house of Israel—because His Chosen People had abandoned Him. In this reading for the second Friday of Advent, however, the Lord restores the vineyard and gathers the just to worship Him in Jerusalem, the symbol of Heaven. The "children of Israel" are now all the faithful.
As the second week of Advent draws to a close, Isaiah once again prophesies the Lord's judgment upon Jerusalem. In this reading for the second Saturday of Advent, we see that His judgment will be swift and overwhelming, like a horde of nations descending in war.