ADVENT 2nd Sunday, 2013: 1st reading Is 11:1-10; 2nd reading Rom 15:4-9; Gospel Mt 3:1-12
John the Baptist makes striking appearance wearing camel’s hair, a leather belt, and eating locusts and wild honey.
But his words are more than striking. They are shocking: Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand! Prepare the way of the Lord. He will gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire!
Again we hear what we heard last Sunday. BE PREPARED.
And we say, oh, yes, we must do that. And then we continue to go about our lives as usual.
I suspect the Philippine people thought they were prepared until the cyclone of the century struck them with its 200-mile-an-hour wind and flooding waters.
Carol Cleary, my youngest sister-in-law, thought she was healthy until she was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer this past September and died 6 weeks later.
In October, Sr. Cabrini celebrated the Eucharist, ate Sunday brunch with us, by afternoon, while talking with some Sisters, had a brain aneurism and died.
John the Baptist warns us: Prepare the way of the Lord. Make straight his paths. The Lord WILL come.
For us it is, when, not if. When will we meet the Lord? Six weeks from now? In an afternoon? Within moments? Or do we have more time to prepare?
The Church in her wisdom sets aside these 4 weeks to alert us to the wonderful time we have to prepare, to make straight our path, to repent.
We have time to do works of mercy. To forgive and cherish and be grateful. To help the needy, visit the sick and feed the poor. To be “replenished by the food of spiritual nourishment, to judge wisely the things of earth and to hold firm the things of heaven.” (Paraphrased from the Prayer after Communion.)
Use the time wisely.