THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT
The Advent theme of “preparing a way for the Lord” is again being repeated in our readings – in the imperative!: ‘A voice cries in the wilderness: “Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight” ’!
Whilst Isaiah points to The One to be born of the family of Jesse (- Jesse was the father of King David, the ancestor of Jesus (see Mt 1:1-16), and with pointed urgency John the Baptist preaches a baptism of repentance, both speak of the eschatological judgement that will take place: Isaiah says, ‘He will judge the wretched with integrity, give a verdict for the poor, strike the ruthless and bring death to the wicked’ (vv 3&4); John the Baptist says ‘His winnowing-fan is in his hand; he will clear his threshing-floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning the chaff’ (v 12. see also Lk 3:7-8). That He will do this with fine-honed accuracy (c.f. the Hebrew word for ‘delight’ in Is 11:3) – as our Creed professes – the mercy of God is such that all who turn to him with a contrite heart (Ps 50:17; Mk 1:14-15) making straight their paths (Mt 3:3 //) will be granted salvation.
Let all of us prepare a way for the Lord to come into our personal lives, our family situations and our society, by coming into the presence of Christ in prayer and through the sacraments.
Fr Philip Sainter