Dec. 4, 2016 - 2nd Sunday of Advent, Year A
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
Is there a lack of harmony in our lives? A lack of peace? Are we a bit out of sorts? Is there an unsettledness? Are our lives out of balance? Does this cause us to be testy with others?
Maybe we have a preoccupation with ourselves. As a result, others may feel that we are arrogant or unapproachable.
Maybe we have or want too many things. As a result, we may be selfish and self-absorbed and not so fun to be around.
Maybe we have an insensitivity towards others. As a result, others may feel that we are cold or distant or even uncaring.
In any case, we would find ourselves having difficulty living in peace and harmony with others.
And so, John the Baptist calls us to change our ways. We know that. But if we dig a little deeper, we have to ask ourselves: What areas of my life is John the Baptist calling me to change this Advent?
Is it an interior change? A change of heart or a change of mind? A change in the way we think about our relationship with God or our relationships with others?
Do I always perceive others in a negative way? If so, can I begin to see people with whom I am having difficulty in a different light? And in seeing them differently, change the way I respond to them?
Or is it an exterior change? A change of actions or a change of behaviors?
Am I being called to treat others with greater kindness and compassion, with greater charity and love.
In the first reading, Isaiah describes the people who are in God’s Kingdom.
They are people of wisdom. Do I know what is important? Do I have insight into how to have a good relationship with God?
They are people of counsel. Do I know how to speak to others in a way that will help them grow closer to God?
They are people of knowledge. Do I know my strengths and weaknesses? Do I know my own God-given gifts and do I use them to help build up the Kingdom?
They are people of understanding. Do I accept others as they are? Do I try to place myself in another person’s shoes before judging that person?
They are people of strength. Do I know what to do and do I have the courage to do it?
Jesus comes bringing justice. Jesus is the one who will right the wrongs we find in our world.
Jesus comes bringing faithfulness. Even when we turn away, Jesus is still there, ever faithful, inviting us to come back.
Jesus comes bringing peace. The Prophet Isaiah reminds us that the wolf and the lamb, the calf and the lion, the cow and the bear, the child and the cobra all play together in the Kingdom.
If they can do that, then we can live together in peace. Isaiah says that, in the Kingdom, people will live together in peace and harmony. And that no harm or ruin will come to them on the Lord’s mountain.
If we want to be people of the Kingdom, then John the Baptist says to repent now. If there is a lack of peace, a lack of balance, an unsettledness, then John the Baptist is calling us to change our ways.
And change we must if we are to prepare the way of the Lord.