The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: “Behold, I am sending my, messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. A voice of one crying out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.’ “John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan river as they acknowledged their sins. John was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He fed on locusts and wild honey. And this is what he proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
We are in the second Sunday of Advent, it is the week of love. As prophesied by the prophet Isaiah, there is a messenger sent ahead of the Messiah. One is sent to prepare the way of the Lord. He is the voice in the wilderness calling for change of hearts and change of lives. John is the voice calling to take the straight and right way and not to remain in our crooked lifestyles and false ways of living. John the Baptist is the voice in the wilderness who baptized the believers with the water of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. John is the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah, and he is the cousin of Jesus.
Advent is a joyful season before Christmas so Christians can prepare for Christ’s coming. Though Jesus had already came almost two thousand years ago, every year we recall
God’s abounding love and mercy and proclaim his greatness over all the earth. Christmas is always be a celebration of God’s fulfillment to His promise, his promise of salvation. We have to rejoice and be glad as the messiah came and lived with us, and will come again in his glory.
In our gospel reading, John is introduced as the chosen precursor of the messiah. And we all know that He did his task committedly even with the price of his head. Let us look into John’s life as the precursor of the messiah, one who has come ahead with a specific task preparing for the coming of salvation.
As baptized by water and the Holy Spirit, it is good to really check and examine our following of Jesus, our Christian living. It is helpful to look into our personal and communal preparations, how far have we prepared? Are we really ready when the time comes when God meets us?
What are the preparations that we during Advent season? It is not enough to beautify and decorate our houses with Christmas decorations. What is important are our personal preparations—the preparation of our hearts and spirits.
Do we attend to Advent reflection and prayer sessions organized by our basic Christian community or parish community, or by our religious group? Have we exerted our best efforts in our personal readiness to face God? Do we attend and actively involve ourselves as a family in spiritual activities such as retreat, recollections, or bible sharing under the guidance of a spiritual guide/priest/religious person? Do I spend ample and meaningful time in prayer?
As we wait for Christmas, we wait with joyful hope. There are four Sundays of Advent before Christmas. Let us list down our ways of preparation for Jesus’s coming not anymore in Bethlehem but in every believer’s heart and home. Today and onward, let us be like John who served as the voice in the wilderness calling for the people to repent and return to God.
As part of our self-inventory, let us also recall or baptismal promises if we had really lived out what we have professed.
Let us pray, reflect and as ourselves:
Have I taken the “straight way and right path” to God?
Am I now ready to welcome and receive Jesus in my life?
Anytime, the Lord will come, am I ready to face Him?
Like John, I am willing to be God’s voice in today’s wilderness?
Almighty and Ever-living God, guide and lead us to the path towards you. May we take seriously and devoutly the call of St. John the Baptist to change our lives and leave our old ways so we can receive You in our lives.
May we trek the straight path faithfully and inspire others to do the same. In this season of Advent, may John the Baptist be our model in reminding also our brothers and sisters who are on the road so together we can take the path of holiness and love.
May we also become like John the Baptist who are willing to prepare the way and make straight the path so others may walk through and in the straight path. This we as through Christ our Lord who lives ad reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Let us pray for all the faithful who are preparing to welcome and receive once again Jesus, the Son of God into our lives. May our preparation be joyful and hopeful so we can really pray, change and renew one’s life for the better and to remain alert and vigilant so when the Lord comes for the second time, we are ready to welcome Him.