2O18 December 09
Second Sunday of Advent
In this weekend’s gospel, John is speaking an uncomfortable truth, challenging us about our sinful behaviour, which we would rather not discuss. He’s telling us that there is a wrong way to live and a right way. If we are to make a clear pathway for God to come into our hearts we have to turn away from sin, resolve to conduct ourselves better and humbly ask Jesus to give us his light instead. There are pockets of silence every day, moments when we are alone and can turn to God in silent prayer. Time spent in prayer helps us to acknowledge our failings and gives us great courage in grappling with the shadow side of life. Prayer sharpens our ability to hear God’s word and helps us come to terms with our inner emptiness which cries out for consolation. Through prayer we come to know God and enjoy the blessings that he wants to pour out upon us. We are waiting for our God standing on the door-step of eternity. He is calling us home, offering us salvation in the person of his Son. On the first Christmas Day, he entered our world and opened the door to eternal life. This Advent let us ask the Spirit to lead us by prayer and repentance through the doorway. Then on his arrival we will be found without stain of sin and at peace.
2O18 December 09
Second Sunday of Advent
First Read, Baruch 5.1-9, “Put on the robe of the righteousness that comes from God.” (2a)
The Psalm 126, “May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy!” (5)
Second Reading, Philippians 1.3-6, 8-11, “The One who began a good work among you will bring it to completion.” (6)
The Gospel, Luke 3.1-6, “All flesh shall see the salvation of the Lord.” (6)
The Salvation at the door!
Advent and Christmas season remind us every year God’s mysterious and powerful intervention in the life of human race. The prophets and the whole scripture lessons during the season give us the endearing and consoling message of God’s favor on humanity, his wondrous ways of leading it to its destiny to reign with God in heaven. Prophet Baruch is doing precisely that, inviting us to cheer up, and offering us “Godly Glory and Righteous Peace” (Baruch 5.4). This is all what humanity always craves to have. In order to make this happen God promises to level up all the valleys, that is, all that depresses, subjugates, humiliates and puts down humans. He also offers to smash down and make low the lofty mountains and everlasting hills, that is, hills and mountains of pride, prejudice, power of money, wealth and dominion. The prophesy of Baruch is repeated in that of Isaiah, which proclaims the levelling down of haughty mountains and filling up of lowly valleys. Salvation for Israel and the reign of God are on the way, by which all the tears will be wiped away and everyone will be in the soothing comfort and endearing presence of God. In this reign of God everyone’s lips will sing hilariously, “The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.” (Psalm 126.3). “The harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ” (Philippines 1.11), must be the outcome of the above fullness of joy. This week even before the very birth of John and that of Jesus the full-grown Baptist is presented, who prepared the way for the Messiah, and announced and administered a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The Baptist’s mission was to prepare the ground, which he did eminently. This week through these scripture lessons the Church invites us, the men and women of these times to prepare the way for the Messiah, to do a levelling in our hearts and minds and in our families and country sides. The decorations, the light and illuminations are already out there. Side by side there is need for clearing the weeds and fallen leaves from our hearts and minds and keeping them ready for the Christ as well. We the adults must do it. We need to teach, groom and bring up our young ones in this culture of inner cleansing and warming up of their soul and spirit. We are preparing for Christmas, for the birth of Jesus on earth as a human like us. It is an event, it is a message, it is a life and work plan, to be worked out and executed here and now by one and all. We need to broadcast the event, spread the message, execute the plan and live the life. This is 24/7/365 non-stop process and endeavor. The Baptist need to take birth in us. His mission of heralding the Messiah’s coming is our mission today. His mission of preparing the way is our task today. We are the ones today to proclaim the baptism of repentance and forgiveness of sin, which the Baptist did in those days. The coming of the Messiah, proclaiming his kingdom, offering forgiveness of sins in his name and inviting guests to the eternal banquet of his kingdom are still works-in-progress, and we are the workers on duty.