Second Sunday of Advent in Year B

Posté par diaconos le 5 décembre 2023

"Prepare the Way of the Lord" - Newberg First Presbyterian Church

# John the Baptist, whose birth name is Yohanan, is an important figure in Christianity and Islam. Historically, his existence is attested by a passage in Flavius Josephus. He was a Jewish preacher at the time of Jesus of Nazareth. The Gospel according to John places the activity of the Baptist on the banks of the Jordan and in Bethany beyond the Jordan. Jesus lived for some time in his entourage and recruited his first apostles there. The synoptic Gospels synchronise the beginning of Jesus’ activity with the imprisonment of John. The audience of this apocalyptic prophet continued to grow, to the point of provoking the reaction of Herod Antipas, who, seeing him gather his supporters, feared that he might start a revolution.

 In the synoptic Gospels, the Baptist was killed because he had criticised Antipas’ marriage to Herodias. In Christianity, John the Baptist is the prophet who announces the coming of Jesus of Nazareth. He baptised him on the banks of the Jordan, leaving some of his disciples to join him. A forerunner of the Messiah, he is presented in the Synoptics as having many traits in common with the prophet Elijah. He is celebrated on 24 June, which commemorates his birth, and on 29 August, which commemorates his beheading.

 From the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Mark

Beginning of the Gospel of Jesus, Christ, Son of God. It is written in the prophet Isaiah: « Behold, I send my messenger before you to open the way. Voice of one who cries out in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 
Then John, the baptiser, appeared in the desert. He proclaimed a baptism of conversion for the forgiveness of sins. All Judea, all the inhabitants of Jerusalem came to him and were baptised by him in the Jordan, publicly acknowledging their sins.

John was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; he fed on locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed : « Behold, he who is mightier than I am behind me ; I am not worthy to stoop to undo the strap of his sandals, I have baptised you with water; he will baptise you in the Holy Spirit. «  Prepare the way of the Lord Christ will come as Lord of power and Shepherd of meekness : « Behold the Lord God, he comes with power. Like a shepherd, he leads his flock; his arm gathers the lambs, they carry them to the heart ».

Undoubtedly, he still makes us wait : « The Lord is not slow to keep his promise ; it is for you that he is patient : for he does not accept to let some go astray : but he wants everyone to have time to be converted ». The important thing was to prepare the way by changing their lives. In the desert a voice cried out : « Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. » The Lord comes ; we must prepare a way for him.

We find this picture of the path throughout the Bible. Paths and roads are a vital link between peoples and civilisations : it is what allows people to communicate from one place to another and to meet, his desert to be transformed is that of people’s social and religious malaise, it is that of loneliness, even that caused by the lack of respect for human dignity. John the Baptist, in the desert, proclaimed a baptism of conversion for the forgiveness of sins; he did not spare his audience. (Mk 1, 1-8)

Were you doing this? Now do the opposite. This evil you were doing, stop doing it. This good you were not doing, start doing it. Edit! Edit! With Christmas approaching, we are invited to receive the sacrament of reconciliation for the forgiveness of our sins. From now on let us prepare to make this approach serious, adult and responsible. And like the crowd that came to the Jordan, let us begin by acknowledging our sins, Lord, open my eyes !

 It is for everyone that the coming of Jesus must be prepared. Let us begin by eliminating from our lives everything that is contrary to God, let us learn not to judge or condemn others, even if they have committed bad deeds. In rejecting them, it is God’s love for them that we reject. Sometimes we denounce and accuse in the name of truth. This way of doing things is often hypocritical and, above all, leaves no way out for those who are victims.

Let us try to understand this: every sinner is a man that God wants to save! True conversion must be accompanied by the testimony of our life. John the Baptist announced the coming of the Lord and prepared for it. Like him, we must roll up our sleeves to build a more just and fraternal world. But as witnesses of faith, let us never forget these words of the Gospel : « He who comes after us, the one we proclaim, is mightier than we. »

This preparation for Christmas sends us back to others. It is a call to witness our faith in our families. We give a religious dimension to this celebration. The Christmas feast, experienced as a family, can only be truly successful if we prepare for it in advance. Nobody waits until the last moment to send invitations and prepare gifts. What if we put at least as much energy into preparing for the coming of Jesus !

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other Christian sites on the Internet

Loyola Press : click here to read the article → Second Sunday of Advent, Cycle B

Young Catholics : click here to read the article → 2nd Sunday of Advent Year B

 Video Immanuel Lutheran Church

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