Second Sunday of Advent 2009

Reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent…

 

2nd Sunday of Advent
  7 December 2008

Readings (Year B)

Isaiah 40:1-5,9-11
Psalm 84
2 Peter 3:8-14
Mark 1:1-8

Our Advent Call….

The gospel today opens with the sentence ‘The beginning of the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Son of God’.  So this is saying that the Good News is a person, the person of Jesus.  Mark has been so captivated by the person of Jesus that he has only one aim – to get people to know and commit themselves to be disciples of Jesus.  John the Baptist has exactly the same vocation.  We find him in the wilderness… proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.  Unless people are first convinced of their sins they cannot know they need of a Saviour.

Repentance is not the same as penance which is depriving ourselves of something in order to atone for our sins.  Repentance is basically changing from looking at life in the ways I normally do to looking at life from God’s point of view, through the eyes of Jesus.

What then are the most important things for me in life?  How would I prioritise my values?  Do they correspond to God’s way of looking at things?   And since the emphasis in today’s gospel is on preparation, to prepare the way of the Lord we might ask: Do I need to celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession this Advent?  How am I going to prepare myself for the coming… of the Lord… for the Feast… for my life?

John the Baptist is preparing the way for the coming of Jesus. He speaks of the One who is coming after him, the One who will baptise with the Holy Spirit.  John is a very humble man. Though He had many people going into the wilderness to see him and he could have been tempted to use this power for himself.  But he is very clear about his mission.  He is the one sent to announce and prepare the people for Jesus.  Then he will get out of the way and leave the stage to Jesus.

John the Baptist was a great prophet.  Like many of the other prophets before him his vocation was to make people aware of the presence of God whom they had forgotten and abandoned. A prophet was a spokesperson for God’s presence.  By our baptism each one of us is too!

Fr Jim Kirstein SMA}
African Missions, Blackrock Road
Cork