The 2nd Sunday of Advent: Luke 3:1-6
We are always invited to open ourselves to further conversion, to an ever deeper change of heart, to a deeper listening to what Jesus is asking of us, “Lord, what do you want me to do, to be?”
Our own role is not unlike that of John the Baptist. Like him, each one of us has a mission to communicate the Spirit of Christ and his message of hope, love, freedom and peace to others.
To help people fill their valleys and make their rough paths smoother. A word of affirmation, encouragement and indeed a simple smile can work wonders.
Passage through the wilderness was an integral part of John’s mission, as it was for Abraham, Moses, Elijah and Jesus. Where, in all the hurly burly of modern life, do we find a holy place, a place where we can be apart and encounter God daily? John, the cousin of Jesus is a challenging figure. He, the messenger of God is the ‘sharpened arrow’ whose words pierce to the heart’s core. Some people listened to his uncompromising message and changed the direction of their lives. But others resisted.
“Lord, this Advent, give me a welcoming heart. Let me be open to the messengers of your word, especially to those whom at first glance I might resist, for they are your prophets today urging me to change my way of thinking and living!
The Gospel positions John the Baptist in the history of his time, sign-posting the date of God’s intervention in human history. It was not a one-off intervention; it continues through every one who works to prepare the way of the Lord. John the Baptist was an independent Jewish prophet active somewhere around 28 AD. Groups of John’s disciples continued to venerate him after his death, and even formed a rival movement to early Christianity. John quotes the prophet Isaiah, “Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.” The image John uses is that of a road engineer, shouting out orders for the construction of the ‘royal road’ of the Lord.
In Advent, I am called upon to open up the royal road to my own heart so that Jesus may be re-birthed in me.