Sunday readings in brief 2 Advent C
Bar 5:1-9; Ps 125 (126); Ph 1:4-6,8-11; Lk 3:1-6
Persevere in Faith
Dear friends today is the Second Sunday of Advent, which means we have two more Sundays to prepare ourselves for the birth of our Lord and saviour in our lives. This week we light the candle of faith. Faith is very important thing in the life of every human person. It is faith that keeps us moving on even when everything seems to be against us. Faith brings hope and hope instills determination to work even harder.
In the first reading, from the Book of Baruch, Prophet Jeremiah’s scribe (secretary), God instills hope in the hearts of the people of Israel who were going through a lot of agony in captivity. The people will no longer dress in sorry but in the beauty of the Glory of God. There will be an everlasting peace in their land and their lost dignity will be given back to them. All the hills of misfortunes will be flattened and the valleys of distress will be filled. This was a very consoling and uplifting message for the people of Israel.
This message is for us today too who are experiencing different calamities in our day-to-day life. God created every one of us in love and intended that we all live in peace and prosperity here on earth and return to him thereafter. However, we all know that not everyone enjoys peace and prosperity due to the many misfortunes in life. Some are suffering due to their own choices and decisions, while others because of the choices and decisions of other people. In any case, no one wish to suffer. The message today is that through faith in Christ Jesus, our lives can transform because indeed as the psalmist proclaims the Lord can work marvelous for us.
St. Paul is the one who introduced Philosophy into the mission of evangelization due to the type of audience he was preaching to – Hellenists. He went on to urge his listeners to pursue critical knowledge and perception of the Gospel so that they could judge for themselves what is best. We are intelligent beings capable of discerning what is best for us. However, sometimes we let ourselves to be led by irrational appetites that plunge us into difficulties and disgrace.
The situation we are in today was determined by the decisions we or those with authority over us made in the past. What we will be tomorrow also depends on our decisions, if we have achieved autonomy, or the decisions of those who rule over us, (parents, teachers, political leaders, religious leaders). It means that due to the cultural, political, social, economic and religious setting in our society today, majority of the people do not have autonomy of decision and have to live with what those who control the systems decide. There are people who cannot access portable water today not because there is drought but because those who have authority and means to change their situation are not willing to do so. There are many women living in slavery today because their religion dictates so.
I was one day shocked by the revelations made to me by a senior member of an international charity organization working in a big slam. He told me that the agenda of many such organizations is not to transform the conditions of the slam dwellers but to the contrary maintain the status quo because the very existence of these organizations depend on it. There is enough evidence that point to this unfortunate fact in many parts of the world.
This means that the poor and the lowly have only their faith and hope in God’s intervention in their fate. Faith in the better things to come can be a very strong anchor in the lives such people. The voice of the one crying in the wilderness brings good tidings to those oppressed by the mighty of this world. Even in their inhuman life conditions, God has a way of bringing joy to the poor and marginalized of the world.
Dear friends, you and I may not be categorized as poor and marginalized. It means that we have something to do with the condition of those who are in that category. The question for reflection today is are we part of solution of part of the problem.
Have a blessed Sunday
Fr. Lawrence Muthee, SVD