Part 1: Advent…until December 16
While most liturgical seasons have the gospel as their main focus, during the first weeks of Advent, the Church gives us daily readings from the prophet Isaiah. With the eyes of faith, these foretell the coming of the Messiah. Rather than a continuous gospel narrative familiar to us for most of the year, this part of Advent offers a wide variety of gospel readings that support the first reading of the day. After almost two weeks of Isaiah readings, we hear the foretelling of a Messiah from other prophets from the Hebrew Scriptures – in Sirach, Numbers, Zephaniah and returning to Isaiah. With each passing week, the prophets speak more clearly of the coming of a Savior. So, in reading the first reading, for the first part of Advent, we listen to the anticipation, expectation, hope and promise. In listening to the second reading, we listen for the fulfillment or connection with the gospel.