Homily Second Sunday of Advent Year C Prepare the way of the Lord

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Homily Second Sunday of Advent Year C

 

Reading 1: Baruch is in exile with the people of Israel. He sees the misery and hers the cries of mourning by the people in a foreign environment. The word of God comes to him to speak to the people. It is a word of hope and expectant joy. “Take off your robe of mourning and misery; put on the splendor of glory from God.” They must begin to do the work of the Lord by keeping once more his commandments.

 

For God is about to do something glorious for them. They and all the displaced exiles will be returned to Jerusalem. Even though they were led away in shame and guilt, they will be led back by God in glory and rejoicing. As God led their ancestors from their bondage in Egypt centuries earlier, so God will go before them once more. It is out of his mercy for their misery that God choices to do this.

 

Baruch’s words are a call to hope in the fulfillment of God’s promise before it happens. They were to watch for this great work of God.

 

While the people of that time looked for their restoration back to Jerusalem, the Church in Advent looks to the greater event, the coming of the Messiah which has already occurred and to his second coming that is in the future. Like the Chosen People in exile, our attitude is to be one of hope and joy.

 

Gospel:  The prophet Baruch spoke a word of joy and expectant hope to the people of his day. John the Baptizer gives us the reason for our hope and joy in this season of Advent. He gives us the reason from growing in love and being pleasing to God.  We are called to prepare in a new way, in this present moment for the present coming of Jesus into our lives.  We are called to repent so that we may see the salvation of God.

 

He was speaking to the people of his day, for the Messiah had come. He was preparing the people to receive and accept him through repentance and openness, symbolized by being baptized in the waters of the Jordan.

 

John’s words are applicable to us today. We have been regenerated in the waters of baptism, yet we need to prepare ourselves for the present coming of Jesus, as well as his future coming. The people of John’s day struggled to recognize and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. We too can miss his presence in the present moment and get caught up with the busyness of daily life that we fail to see, welcome and accept Jesus as the Lord and Savior of our lives.

Christmas is not just celebrating a past event, but making that moment a present reality here and now in our life. We are called to be attuned to the present coming of Jesus with the eyes and heart of faith and love. For if we recognize, accept and embrace him in the present moment by living a life in relationship to him consciously and intentionally, then we will be able to embrace him in his second coming.

 

Reading 2 Paul reminded the people in Philippi that “the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus”. He was referring to Jesus’ second coming in glory. Last Sunday the prayer of Paul was for people to abound in love for one another and continue to please God. Today, he returns to the theme of love.  He said: “that may your love increase ever more and more in knowledge so as to discern what is of value, and to grow in holiness.” This is the way to give glory to God and lead others to God.

 

One of the ways we can express our love for God and for others this Advent is to ask God for the name of a person that you could invite to come with you to Mass on Christmas.  Then pray for that person to be receptive to your invitation of love. Invite that person. If there is some openness, call them before Christmas to reaffirm your invite. Pick them up and share with them Eucharist on Christmas.

 

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