As we look forward for the Second Coming of Christ with great anticipation and hope in the Second Sunday of Advent, we are called to prepare the way for His coming. In today’s First Reading, God’s faithfulness to His people is shown by how He prepares them for the release of captivity through Prophet Isaiah. He consoled and forgave when the Israelites repented of their sins and sought reconciliation. Our Father not only freed them from slavery, He also led them back to the Promised Land and restored His covenantal relationship with them. The psalmist recognizes the truth that salvation comes from God’s steadfast love and mercy. Hence, he urged the people to repent, reconcile and restore their relationship with our Father. In the Second Reading, St Paul reminds the faithful that the return of Christ would be anytime. Therefore, we should be vigilant in preparing ourselves for the Lord. Similarly, in the gospel of Mark, St John is called to prepare the way for the coming of Christ. His prophetic voice not only speaks to the past but also to us of today where Truth has been compromised by the world.
How did John the Baptist pave the way for God’s coming? As we look at John the Baptist’s life, it is evident that his mission was to point out Jesus Christ to others. St John disciplined himself in the desert. The way he lived, dressed and ate reminded the people of Prophet Elijah. When he called the people to repent, he preached like Prophet Elijah and many came to him to be baptized at river Jordan. Finally, John the Baptist pointed out to Christ’s coming when He came. Just like St John the Baptist, we also have a mission to prepare the way for God’s coming into our lives and into the lives of others. They learn about God our Father from what we say and how we behave. They will only turn to our Father when they see us living our faith through our thoughts, words and deeds. Just like the incident related by Mother Theresa about a man who came to the Home for the Dying. He came in with a heart full of hatred, emptiness and bitterness. However, when he saw a sister attend whole heartedly to a patient in the Home, he realized that God exists. Hence, through her deeds, the sister has prepared the way for God our Father to enter the man’s life and he went out of the Home a different man.
How do we prepare the way for God our Father in others’ lives? We need to respond like those who were in exile in the First reading and those who submitted to St John the Baptist’s call and repented. We can prepare the way for Christ’s by returning to God our Father through the 3Rs. Repentance of our sins, seeking forgiveness to Reconcile and Restore our relationship with Him. Covid-19 pandemic has affected many of us in different ways. Instead of focusing on the devastating impact caused by economic and social disruption, we could dwell in the presence our Lord and re-examine our lives. Let us prepare the condition of our hearts during this Advent season and open our doors widely to welcome Jesus when He comes.
Veronica & Benedict