Dear Friends in Christ

Dec 5, 2018

Gospel Reflection, 2nd Sunday of Advent, Year C
Baruch 5: 1-9; Philippians 1: 4-6, 8-11; Luke 3: 1-6 

Dear Friends in Christ,

Today’s gospel takes place at a particular moment in the history of the world, the fifteenth year of the reign of the Emperor Tiberius, which was about A.D. 27-28.  At that time the cruel Pontius Pilate was Roman governor of Judea and Herod the Great’s two hated sons, both immoral and equally cruel, were local princes by the desire of the emperor. 

It was a time when things were not looking rosy or peaceful, but were filled with affliction, poverty, and a hard struggle to survive.  So at that time, God intervened in this history.  How did this happen?  “The word of God came to John”.  God intervenes by calling people.  And whenever people hear his call, God can work great things through them.  This is how it was with people such as Saint Francis of Assisi or Saint Teresa of Calcutta.  They heard God’s call and obeyed. 

How did they hear God’s call?  How did they know it was not their own self-deception to do something so different and not the way of the world around them?  God’s call went out to John “in the wilderness”.  In order for God to speak to me, I must hear him.  In order to hear, I need a sufficient amount of quiet.  That is why John was in the wilderness.  The silence there is so complete that one’s heart is quieted and starts to hear.  In our world today, silence has become a rare commodity.  That is why it is so important to pray well before Mass in church and why our Eucharistic Adoration at Saint Henry’s is such a blessing.  We will find that God speaks to our hearts there.  We will find consolation and help in our decision making.  And if peace comes into our hearts, we can be sure that it comes from God.

But what did God say to John in the wilderness?  As words of hope, John was to prepare the way for the Lord and we are as well.  What was crooked should be made straight, and any difficulties be cleared way.  God was to find room once more and people were to be able to get to God.  By the path that he prepared, God really did come.  He came as the little child at Bethlehem, as the Redeemer of all humankind.

May God truly bless you this Advent and Christmas!

Father Tony