SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT - C
John the Baptist has always been the “Voice of Advent”. The Church once again calls our attention to listen to his words and embrace his message with expectant joy:
“Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.
Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The winding roads shall be made smooth, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”
Before, during and after the world had heard the voice of John the Baptist, the messianic longing remains not just among the Jews but in the very heart of humanity. There is an emergence of an incomprehensible mystery which draws the desire of every man and woman into an unspeakable realm beyond himself/herself. It is because the Absolute One which used to be a transcendent reality far beyond our reach has become immanent in an almost scandalizing manner of the Incarnation. In short, God finally revealed his face to us in the person of Jesus Christ.
Yet this mind-blowing revelation in Jesus entails a radical response on our part if we want to truly encounter God. If God experienced eternal kenosis in becoming man in order to give us fullness of life, we are also challenged to break away from our imposed self-enclosure in order to welcome new life. True conversion is turning away from false existence to true way of living, from selfishness to selflessness, from emptiness to fullness, from separateness to communion. We all have the tendency to draw the world to ourselves and to make the world revolve around our selfishness for the sake of egoism. But only those who are willing to break away from the constricted slavery of selfishness are able to encounter Christ in his many creative comings. The message of St. John the Baptist poses a real challenge to take it into our hearts and make it our own. If we take to heart seriously his message, it demands not just a dying to one’s self but by becoming prophets ourselves like him in our present generation. But we don’t need to shout like him because we shall be preaching the same message, sometimes in silence, through our lifestyle. Then we join the other prophets in breaking away from a particular addiction that continuous to enslave us or by getting away from sinful circumstances that stifle us. When we are able to do it, we clothe ourselves and the world with purple during this time of waiting. Purple is not merely a liturgical color in our churches, it is something we put on to symbolize a deeper reality that is waiting to emerge.
Beneath the repentant purple of Advent is the white Christmas awaiting to be born only if we endure the pain of birthing. The voice of John the Baptist becomes our voice in shattering our false identity as we share our birthing together in the eternal generation the Son, making us adopted children of the Father. What we are awaiting for is not just the celebration of Christ’s birth but also our emergence as children of God.
Our life is the medium and the message of Christian hope!