2nd Sunday in Advent C
This week’s Gospel introduces us to one of the 2 main ‘waiting’ characters - John the Baptist. John goes through the whole area proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. John echoes the prophet Isaiah: a voice cries in the wilderness. Usually when we hear that phrase we use it in the sense that we feel we are not being listened to, people are, perhaps, choosing not to listen to our words.
John has his quiet time in the wilderness and then he goes on to proclaim a baptism of repentance. In the bible the Word of God doesn’t usually come to the rich and powerful but to the lowly, as it did to Mary also. John encourages people to have hope. He is encouraging them to be the best they can be – God waits for us to be the person He always destined us to be.
Reading through this Gospel this year I paid more attention to the first part of the Gospel and I looked at what Luke was doing – not only was he putting John, and by consequence Jesus, in context, in history - he actually names all the major players who would later appear in the Jesus story – Pontius Pilate, Herod, Annas and Caiaphas. I wonder how I missed that all these years? Am I the only one who skips over verses because I think I know what’s coming and I don’t need to read this part?
Perhaps in previous years I had just skipped over the names or maybe I wasn’t open to what Luke was saying or maybe I just wasn’t ready to hear that part of the Gospel. Maybe then this Advent is a wake-up call for me not to skip over people, things or events by dismissing them too quickly. It may be also that I need to pay more attention to what is going on as I obviously miss what I am meant to see – and that might well be something important. At Mass this morning the priest spoke about not just listening to Jesus but also doing what He wants us to do. That can be easier said than done!
God gives us many opportunities day in, day out and we must miss a lot of them – because we are not aware of all that is going on around us. What do we each need this Advent? Perhaps we need to hear the prophets, John and others proclaiming the Word of God so that we, too, can proclaim it to others.
Sr. Margaret Mattison