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Since 1732, the Redemptorists — a congregation of missionary priests and brothers — have followed in Jesus’ footsteps, preaching the Word and serving the poor and most abandoned.
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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.