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Saturday, 7 December 2013

Reflection/Homily: Second (2nd) Sunday of Advent Year A (December 8 2013)

Reflection/Homily: Second (2nd) Sunday of Advent Year A (December 8 2013)
Theme: Prepare the Way of the Lord

700 years before the birth of Christ, the people of Israel lived in a period of political and religious crises. It was a time when their secular and religious leaders were wavering in their loyalty to Yahweh. There were abundance of vices that idolatry and paganism became the order of the day. True religion was sacrificed on the altar of subjectivity and it was clear that the society was heading to doom. At this moment, those who remained faithful to Yahweh were in the depths of despair. They thought God had abandoned them and forgotten the promises He made to their ancestors. It was against this backdrop that Isaiah spoke the prophetic words we heard in the first reading (Is. 11:1-10). Isaiah dispelled the people’s fear and despair by assuring them that God had not abandoned His people. He told them that out of the remnant of Israel, God would raise a new Davidic king who would establish peace and a glorious kingdom of justice on earth.

This prophecy was however fulfilled in the New Testament in the person of Jesus. He is the expected Davidic king who is to establish peace and a kingdom of righteousness on earth. He spent his 33 years on earth establishing this glorious kingdom on earth. The Church is this new kingdom established by Christ. The first reading in dramatic terms described that in this kingdom, “the wolf shall dwell with the lamb and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them”. This is only a pictorial description of the peace that reigns in the Church where God brings together the mighty and the lowly and yet they worship Him with one heart. The Church is the place where the Jews and the Gentiles, the saints and the sinners can comfortably assemble together under one head and under one roof.

During this period of advent, the Church prepares us to focus our minds on the first coming of Christ, the Prince of Peace, who came to establish the kingdom of God on earth. It is a special period to reflect on how well we have cooperated with him in the establishment of his glorious kingdom. This kingdom though beginning on earth, would be realized perfectly in heaven after the second coming of Christ. That is why the period of advent is the period not only to celebrate the first coming of Christ, but also to prepare for his second coming. For this reason, the gospel reading (Mt. 3:1-12) invites us to prepare the way for the Lord and to make his paths straight. Preparing the way for the Lord means taking away every obstacle that would prevent Christ from getting to us and from getting to others through us. We are the way through which Christ gets to the world and sin is the only obstacle that can block this way. 

Even as Christ comes to the world this Christmas, have you prepared the way for Jesus to get to you and to others through you? You need to listen to the voice of John the Baptist re-echoing in the voices of Sacred Scripture, the ministers of the Word and even in the dictates of your conscience calling you for a total change of heart and a radical conversion to Jesus. You know where the road needs to be straightened. The avoidance of vices and the practice of virtues especially within this period will enable us to do this well. Therefore, as we anticipate the joy of Christmas, do not forget to welcome the less privileged into your circles for the second reading (Romans 15:4-9) urges us to welcome one another as Christ welcomed us. Happy Sunday. God loves you.                                       

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