Second Sunday of Advent
T oday’s readings will lead us to a certain preparation for the second coming of Jesus which will be in some way the end of the world history and of humanity. This preparation based of its importance can be seen in a context of a “Joyful Tension”. Our Liturgy Committee, reflecting on the significance of this Advent Season, had decided to use the “Joyful Tension” as the theme for our Advent reflection. It seems to me very appropriate to look at this time through the light of the Scripture as we move forward in our Advent journey.
Joyful tension, the first thing we found that all the readings for today’s liturgy invite us to change our sights on the time where we are living and focus also on the second coming of Christ where our hope to experience definitely the lasting peace. In the first reading God make a clear promise to his people that from the roots of Jesse a bud shall blossom. It seems like a time of great peace in the midst of the great tension. This is the prophet Isaiah who is saying that day will come where all the creatures will live together peacefully. This is a message of hope, a message of peace for a world so tormented by violence and oppression. But to be able to live this wonderful experience Saint Paul invites all of us like he did to the Christian of Rome to intensify our Christian life and actively strive to be a welcoming community as we glorify the Lord. Be a welcoming community is also a way to prepare ourselves to welcome Christ our Savior.
Joyful tension, in the Gospel, John the Baptist voiced to all human kind to prepare the way for the Lord. Be ready; do not let yourself be distracted by the sounds or the noise of this world and all sort of delusional attitudes of our society flooding all sort of non sense of sensationalism in our minds. What seems more important for the evangelist Matthew is first of all the message that John the Baptist proclaimed: “Repentance and produce good fruits as evidence of the repentance. If we get to understand this joyful tension in this context of the Advent Season what would that mean for us: “Repentance and produce good fruits”? To me it means to take some steps and change anything that need to be changed in my life, reject all forms of comforts that would prevent me to see God in the face of my brothers and sisters and most of all let me be infused by the love and the light of Christ. It also means to be in touch with the reality of the tensions that exists even sometimes in our own and personal life, in our nation; tension sometimes of even keeping our eyes open to what is going on around us, like our expectation, and of course the general tension of preparing for Christmas; tension of preparing for penance, repentance and conversion. Brothers and sisters, in spite of all those tensions, calamities, suffering, acts of violence that we know the Season of Advent must be for us a way of living, an active hope, a great reason to love and a better way to build a flourishing future with great expectation where joy and happiness will keep us always awake.
Rev. Ducasse François
"A voice of one crying out in the desert:
"Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his pats".