December 4, 2016
Second Sunday of Advent
The Gospel Today
John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea
and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said:
A voice of one crying out in the desert,
Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
John wore clothing made of camel’s hair
and had a leather belt around his waist.
His food was locusts and wild honey.
At that time Jerusalem, all Judea,
and the whole region around the Jordan
were going out to him
and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River
as they acknowledged their sins.
When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees
coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers!
Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance.
And do not presume to say to yourselves,
‘We have Abraham as our father.’
For I tell you,
God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees.
Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit
will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
I am baptizing you with water, for repentance,
but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I.
I am not worthy to carry his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing fan is in his hand.
He will clear his threshing floor
and gather his wheat into his barn,
but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
REFLECTION (Sem. Herwyn T. Bulaun)
We are now in the second Sunday of Advent. The readings ushers us into preparing ourselves for the coming of the Son of God in our midst. We read in the Gospel how God fully respects our freedom. His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, did not come just by appearing and inserting himself in human history. He sent a precursor and his name was John the Baptist.
John The Baptist, prepared the people for the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is not only an external preparation but, most essentially, interior disposition to receive Him in our life.
It is very easy to make an “external’ preparation. For instance, new look, adapting to new fashion, disposing excess things by donating to charitable institutions. However, more than these, preparation entails relationship. When we prepare for a certain occasion, we want to make it extra especial because of our relationship to the person. The way we prepare for the coming of our Lord in our lives depends on the intensity of our relationship with Him. The stronger the relationship, the more radical is the realignment that we need to do in our lives to conform to the will of our Lord.
When I entered the seminary, the initial preparation that I did was turning away from my job and the luxury that it brought me. Nonetheless, as I mature in formation, my relationship with God was slowly deepened and has allowed me to let go of certain attitudes that were not compatible to the priestly vocation. For instance, I managed to be inclusive of people regardless of my perspective of them. Although, that preference is still their but it became manageable. Our preparations for the coming our Lord will make us realize that there is still hope even for the worst person.