Second Sunday of Advent 2008

Reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent…

advent wreath second week at blackrock road oratory

2nd Sunday of Advent
9 December 2007

Readings (Year A)

Isaiah 11:1-10
Psalm 71
Romans 15:4-9
Matthew 3:1-12

A Thought for the day …

MAKING CHRISTMAS A REAL JOY…

John the Baptist appears preaching in the desert of Judea and says ‘Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand’.

He is saying that ‘the reign of God’ is at hand because Jesus has appeared and he calls upon his listeners to pay attention to him and respond now… aware that none of us has any guarantee how long we will live.

John the Baptist and Jesus both began their ministry with the call to repent.  What do we understnd by the word ‘repent’?  It is being sorry for one’s sins.  But a bit more: it is being sorry enough for one’s sins to quit and give up committing them.

There is a note of urgency in today’s gospel.  John says ‘even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree that is not fruitful will be cut down and thrown into the fire’.  He is not saying this just to scare us but that if what we are doing in our lives is contrary to God’s will, we will not have the deep happiness and peace God wants for us now.

So in contemporary language John the Baptist is saying to us: ‘If you are thinking of making a Christmas confession, do it now. If you are planning to be reconciled with someone now is the time. If you are considering doing good to others do it now. Don’t delay’.

We all have done things in our lives that we now regret and would like to erase. Happily, we Catholics are blessed because Jesus gave us a way of erasing our sins. This we can do in Confession, the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Why not avail of this free gift this Christmas as a very good preparation for celebrating the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ?

Fr Jim Kirstein SMA
Blackrock Road, Cork