On this second Sunday of advent, Jesus is inviting us to open the door of our life to make some rooms in our hearts, to welcome him by repentance, and to make our ways straight before him.
Every year in the season of advent in preparation for Christmas, we try to make our homes look very nice and more beautiful, well decorated with flowers, Christmas trees and lights, changing things, moving furniture around the house. These are all good to make physical changes; However, Saint John’s message is very clear and urgent in today’s gospel. It is the message of repentance for the forgiveness of sins and to make our ways straight before God. It says, “Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. A voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” Repentance is at the heart of our relationship with God.
The word, “Repentance or Repent” means change. Change from the inside out. Changing our furniture around, to adjust, to move, to amend, to transform, and to reorganize. Thus, we must change our spiritual furniture inside us, to put on our spiritual Christmas tree of love, kindness, charity, peace, hope, joy, trust, and patience. John was so clear and convinced that the time of our salvation is at hand. He told the people that they must repent in order to make room for the Savior.
The message of John the Baptist is also the message of advent for us today. It’s not one of fear, but of hope, faith, and assurance. “Repent and prepare the way of the Lord.” To change our hearts, to be positive, to be transformed, to reconcile with God, with oneself, with one another, to make our ways straight before him in words and actions, and to avoid all that leads to sin. We must let peace and justice reign in our life, our family, our home and in our world.
In this season of Advent, we too are called to listen to God’s voice, crying out in the desert of the world through the Sacred Scriptures, especially when they are proclaimed and preached to us with the power of the Holy Spirit, to make our ways straight before the Lord, to welcome our Savior. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is important for us. The second reading tells us, “The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard “delay,” but he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish.” Advent is a time for us to have a rethink about our lives for the better and to live in peace.
God is good…all the time.
God bless you.
Fr. Daniel E. Ogbeifun