(Second Sunday of Advent – Year B)
St John the Baptist’s word’s: ‘‘Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight’’, ring out to us as we start the Second week of Advent (Mark 1:1-8). He is the Patron Saint of the Diocese of Christchurch. Perhaps his words and his personality are very apt for us in the week when we have been blessed with the appointment of a new Bishop (see page 3).
John comes to prepare for Christ’s coming. He appears in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism for the repentance of sins. His very person embodies the idea of ‘past, present and future’. His clothing is reminiscent of the prophet Elijah (2 Kings 1:8). His message is similar to the message of the Old Testament prophets who told off the People of God for their unfaithfulness that true repentance may be awaken in them. Among the people, unconcerned with the things of God, it was John’s task to awaken their interest, to unsettle them from the complacency, and to arouse in them enough goodwill to receive Christ when he comes. His message still rings true for us in our time. His task is also our task: we too are called to give testimony to the light and truth of Christ, pointing others to Christ in the way we live, work, and speak. Christ is coming….. it is time to open our hearts to John’s message that our Christmas preparation, and celebration, be more than a ‘commercial’ event, and when He comes again, we will be ready.
God’s peace be with you, Fr Michael