Scriptures of the day: Baruch 5: 1 – 9
Philippians 1: 4 – 6, 8 – 11 Luke 3: 1 – 6
It’s amazing how we recall in great detail our experiences of significant events, and our encounters with significant people.
Remember 9/11 . . ., your wedding day . . ., the birth of a child . . . , heartwarming memories with family and friends . . . ? Most likely, we can describe anyone of them in vivid color. Evidently, the Gospel for the Second Sunday of Advent describes a significant event for the Jewish people who were part of this Gospel story. The narration begins with an uncharacteristic listing of the Roman and Jewish leaders of the time. The desert area, and the Jordan River are specifically named as the geographic location of the event. John the Baptist was identified as the noteworthy person in the story.
The Baptist’s prophetic words:
“Prepare the way of the Lord.
Every valley shall be raised up, and every hill brought low.
All God’s people will see together the glory of the Lord.”,
were so significant that they have been repeated down through the ages right up to the present time.
These words resonated within the hearts of the people, and stirred up within them hope that something new was about to happen. And within a short time something new did happen, and they did in fact see the glory of the Lord!
As the story continues, we are told that a few days later Jesus approached John at the Jordan River. There, Jesus was baptized, and the heavens opened to allow the glory of God to shine on, and through Jesus.
God the Father claimed Jesus as His Beloved Son, and the face of God was revealed in the face, and in the person, in the words, and in the deeds, in the very life of Jesus! Jesus’ coming was a game changer for these people. They realized the full impact of Jesus’ advent in space and time. The same Jesus comes to us – today, tomorrow, and always. Do we recognize Him? Do we welcome Him with open hearts? Will we embrace Him, and allow Him to change our lives? Can we come together as sisters and brothers on the level playing field that he prepared for us? Do we dare to take on the challenge, the challenge to look at the faces of one another, and see Jesus? Can we look into the eyes of one another, and see the glory of God ?
by Sr. Gerrie Contento, M.P.F.