Second Sunday in Advent in year A

Posté par diaconos le 3 décembre 2019

Convert, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand

 Second Sunday in Advent in year A dans La messe du dimanche

Be converted, and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ

From the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Matthew

In those days, John the Baptist appears, proclaiming in the Judean desert : « Be converted, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand.  « John is the one designated by the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah : « Voice of the one who cries in the wilderness : Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. « 

He, John, wore a camel’s hair garment, and a leather belt around his loins; his food was locusts and wild honey. Then Jerusalem, all Judea and the whole Jordan region came to him, and they were baptized by him in the Jordan, acknowledging their sins.

Seeing many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them : « A generation of vipers! Who taught you to run away from the anger that is coming ? Produce a fruit worthy of conversion. Do not say within yourselves : « We have Abraham as our father » ; for, I tell you, from the stones here, God can raise children to Abraham.

Already the axe is at the root of the trees : any tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I baptize you in water for conversion. But the one who comes behind me is stronger than me, and I am not worthy to take off his sandals. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire.

He holds in his hand the shovel to winnow, he will clean his threshing floor, and he will collect his grain in the attic ; as for the straw, he will burn it with fire that does not go out.  «  (Mt 3:1-12)

Change your way of life and convert !

John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, urging the people to repent, given the proximity of God’s kingdom. The first four verses describe John the Baptist and summarize his message : « Convert ! « The Kingdom of God is very near. « 

« Voice of the one who cries in the wilderness : Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. «  (Is 40:3), characterizes well the mission of John the Baptist : in the past, Israel was born at the time of the Exodus. John the Baptist taught the Pharisees and Sadducees : « It is now necessary to be reborn listening to the prophet and to prepare for the coming of the Savior. »

The painful feeling of sin through the awakening of consciousness is the only true preparation to receive the Savior and through him his grace. This feeling is a moral obligation, since here and everywhere in the writing, it is ordered. Matthew then described the garment John the Baptist wore and the food he took from the desert.

With the adverb Then, Matthew introduced us to John’s preaching (following verses)

Jean’s speech

John’s baptism was not borrowed from the ablutions in use among the Jews of the time, nor from the baptism of proselytes, which only appeared after the destruction of the temple.  It was a symbolic declaration of the sin and corruption of all the people, as well as the need for the purification and regeneration of the whole human race.

This last feature was symbolized by the action of diving into the water the people who declared their repentance by confessing their sins.  John’s baptism was a baptism for repentance, which lacked the essential element of Christian baptism : the forgiveness of sins and new life. The conversion that John demanded from all had to be translated into action.

    No privilege can remove anyone from Christ’s judgment !

These men to whom John addressed himself, even in their impenitence, assumed the title of Abraham’s sons and imagined that the religious privileges of their people were sufficient to ensure their salvation (Jn 8, 33-39). This is how many people today think that their Church will save them. God’s judgments will be executed against unrepentant men.

All these verbs : will be cut off, and will be thrown away, express the imminence and certainty of these judgments. Do we not always invoke our religious privileges (our baptism, our Christian education, our dedication to works, our militant life, our contacts with unbelievers…) to reassure ourselves at a reasonable cost ?

What fruits do we really produce ? What transformation of our hearts has the Gospel brought about ?

Jean’s words are topical and deeply contemporary

   Convert and produce fruits that express your conversion !     Produce fruits of love, justice and peace !

This message from John the Baptist is the password that introduces the Kingdom of Heaven. To enter the Kingdom opened by Jesus, everyone is invited to turn around. It’s not about turning around. But it is a question of letting God’s love overcome us.

Links to other sites

 ◊  Click here to read the paper → Year A – Advent – Second Sunday

◊ frcanicenjoku : click here to read the paper → Homily for 2nd Sunday of Advent, Year A

◊ Covenant Kingdom    : click here to read the paper → THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND — NOW!!!

Homily for the Second Sunday of Advent

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