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Thank you for visiting. In honour of the 5th anniversary of Uwakwe Reflections, we have relocated to a bigger platform at www.uwakwereflections.com. Do meet us there.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Reflection/Homily: 2nd Sunday of Advent Year C (December 9 2012)



Theme: Prepare the Way for the Lord

In the fifth year of the Babylonian exile around 583 BC, God raised the prophet Baruch, Jeremiah’s secretary to speak to the Israelites about their sins. Hearing the words of the prophet Baruch, they went into the depths of their hearts, wept, fasted and prayed for forgiveness. They contributed some money and sent to the priest Jehoiakim and other priests in Jerusalem for holocaust and sin offering (cf. Baruch 1:1-7).  True to His steadfast love, God forgave all their sins and consoled them.

God also consoled and blessed their land; Jerusalem and that is why in the first reading (Baruch 5:1-9) we see the consolation and blessing of Jerusalem. God promised to show the splendour of Jerusalem to every nation under heaven and He gave her the name “Peace through integrity and honour through steadfastness”. God also promised to flatten every high mountain, fill the valleys and make the ground level for the Israelites to walk back home in safety under the glory of God.

We all are like the Israelites in our spiritual journey. We have remained unfaithful to God and as a result, have fallen into the captivity of sin and death. When the prophets remind us of our sinfulness, we feel very sorry and offer sacrifices for the forgiveness of sins. Before now, those sacrifices were imperfect and incapable of perfect cleansing. A perfect victim was needed for a perfect sacrifice and for this perfect sacrifice to take place, there must be an authentic and perfect preparation.

That is why in the gospel reading (Luke 3:1-6), John the Baptist appears as a fore-runner for this perfect victim, calling on all to a baptism of repentance and urging them to prepare the way for the Lord and make His paths straight. This is to enable all mankind see the salvation of God which is going to be wrought through Jesus Christ. Jesus is coming to deliver us from captivity. This time, not from physical captivity but from spiritual captivity; the captivity of sin and death and Jesus wants to visit us there in our lands of captivity and rescue us.

The primary place where the devil is holding us captive is in our hearts and the first way we ought to prepare and make smooth for the Lord is the path to our hearts. As the psalmist says, when you listen to His voice do not harden your heart. Our captivity begins in the heart and manifests itself in all we do. The negative things we do make the paths to our hearts more crooked so that grace finds it difficult to penetrate and repentance becomes difficult.

Therefore, to prepare the way for the Lord into our hearts, three things are expected of us as we can learn from John the Baptist. First we need to go into the wilderness of our hearts where we will be alone with God and enjoy His presence. This could be done through private meditation, contemplative prayer, bible reading and participation in Church fellowships. In doing this, we must move away from the distractions of the busy world.

Secondly, when we are settled in the wilderness like John, the Word of God will come to us as It came to John. This Word will illumine our minds and make us see to what extent we are held bound. We then have to allow the Word of God to inform, reform and transform us into what God wants us to be.

Thirdly, when we are illumined, informed, reformed and transformed by the Word of God, we should then be ready to proclaim the Good News of Jesus among people not only by calling them to repentance but by an authentic witnessing to the Spirit of Christ. By then, we have turned a new leaf and taken true love to be the motive of all our actions. This love according to St Paul in the second reading (Phil 1:4-6,8:11) will improve our knowledge, deepen our perception and will help us to become pure, blameless and prepared for the Day of Christ. God loves you.


3 comments:

  1. Anonymous6:03 pm

    Congratulations on your anniversary and keep doing a nice job.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for sharing your homily. I found it to be an instrument of peace and hope for me today.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous3:35 pm

    A. good reflection. great job.

    ReplyDelete

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