Reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent…December 10, 2023

by Barbara Hickey, Notre Dame Associate

Today is the Second Sunday in Advent, a time to rejoice, to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

A second purple candle (which is sometimes called the Bethlehem candle) is lit on the second Sunday of Advent to represent the hope of Christ coming to the world.

The theme of readings and teachings during Advent is often to prepare for the Second Coming while commemorating the First Coming of Christ at Christmas.  With the view of directing the thoughts of Christians to the first coming of Jesus Christ as Savior and to his second coming as judge, special readings are prescribed for each of the four Sundays in Advent. 

In recent times the most common observance of Advent outside church circles has been the keeping of an advent calendar or advent candle.

When I was 12 or 13 years old, I had surgery to correct some ankle issues that were a result of polio.  While I was in the hospital (it was early December), a friend of my parents gave me an Advent Calendar.  I couldn’t wait for the mornings to start so I could open those tiny doors to see what wonderful words were inside!  I was only in the hospital for a week or so but when I returned home, I still had the calendar to open until Christmas.  I don’t remember what was printed on those tiny cards after this length of time, but it made that particular Christmas season very special.