Prepare the way.
Second Sunday of Advent Year C 05/12/2021 Lk 3, 1-6
We are on the second Sunday of Advent. The coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is closer and closer. Normally, when we welcome someone into our house. It becomes a special event for us. We will prepare the food, decorate the table...and ourselves as well. In this Advent season, we also prepare spiritually for an important event “the coming of Christ Jesus”. As we have heard in today’s Gospel “ A voice cries in the wilderness. Prepare a way for the Lord”. To prepare well for this great coming, John proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Lk 3, 3), the conversion.
It is a call to repentance, which means; turning away from sin and evil and returning to God. We are sinners, and we are in a Church of sinners. We need to recognize it. When we see our sin. It means we see reality in front of us. In the past, some of religious orders, we had an examination of conscience or spiritual examination to see what we had done during the day under the eyes of God. There is also a human look. It is sometimes kind, and mercy but sometimes it’s terrible. However, in front of God, we can not cheat him, lie to him. If we look at our sins, as Christian, if we take time to look at it, think of it. It is for our conversion.
As Saint Paul said Christ is like us in all things, excepts sin. Looking at Jesus, we can follow him, follow his way, looking at Him and strengthen our relationship with him because sin is not a moral fault. Sin is a rupture of our relationship with God.
Luke, by setting the preparation for the advent of Jesus Christ in the context of world history, says that the gospel belongs to all people. The gospel is for the world. It is God’s gift to his creation. And We may see the same idea in the first reading. In the exile, prophet Baruch saw a day of liberation. Jerusalem will be restored and “ Israel can walk in safety under the glory of God”. Here, God is the one who prepares the way. God delivered his people saying Psalm 125. God is even there before us, waiting for our conversion, for our return as the father for his prodigal son. Conversion is God’s grace.
Conversion is also a journey and not a destination. Conversion is an on-going process that needs to be sustained. Some of us may have a special moment of conversion experience at some point in our lives, but we know also that new relationship will be ended if it is not maintained by prayer, adoration, and the eucharist. We can understand why the Apostle Paul offered a special prayer for the Philippians to "increase their love for each other and improve their knowledge and deepen their perception so that they can always recognize what is best".
In this season of advent, God begins the good work of bringing us back to the right way. We, in our side, should see that Advent is a time when we examine whether or not the foundation of our life is Jesus. And how can we prepare for this coming in our lives.
Lord, give us your grace, and the courage I need to respond to Your invitation. May this Advent be a time of new beginnings and deeper resolve to follow You.