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Friday, 02 December 2022 13:53

Celebrating At Home - 2nd Sunday of Advent

Prepare a way for the Lord
(Matthew 3:1-12)

The magnificent first reading from the prophet Isaiah this weekend looks forward to the appearance of one ‘on whom the spirit of the Lord rests – a spirit of wisdom and insight, counsel and power and knowledge of the fear of the Lord’.
He gives judgement in favour of the poor. His judgement is not influenced by appearances or hearsay. He judges with integrity. His word strikes the ruthless and his sentences bring death to wickedness.
In his day extraordinary things happen: ‘the wolf lies with the lamb…’ All creation is at peace. Even natural enemies (symbolised by the animals) live together in peace. No hurt or harm is done because the whole country ‘is filled with the knowledge of the Lord’. John the Baptist sits at the centre of this week’s Gospel and next week’s. He is the ‘one who cries in the wilderness: Prepare a way for the Lord; make his paths straight’.
John was preparing the people for the coming of Jesus.
Moved by his preaching many sought baptism in the river Jordan. This ancient water-rite symbolised dying to the old way of life and rising to a new way of life.
That’s what repentance is about: turning away from sin and turning towards God. It is about true conversion of heart. It’s about making straight the pathways of our hearts. The fruit of our repentance and true conversion shows itself in good works.
Our preparation for the coming ‘day of the Lord’ is a continual cycle of dying and rising; of turning away from sin and towards God; of remaking our minds and hearts after the mind and heart of Christ. The good works we do give Christ presence, form and shape in the concrete reality of human life. So, Christian life is a constant act of preparation through repentance and good works.
Christmas is not just about the birth of Jesus long ago.
It’s also about giving birth to him in our lives every day.

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