Gospel Reflection Dec 10 – Deacon Paul
Sunday, December 10
Second Sunday of Advent
Mark 1: 1-8
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way.
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.”
John the Baptist appeared in the desert
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
People of the whole Judean countryside
and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem
were going out to him
and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River
as they acknowledged their sins.
John was clothed in camel’s hair,
with a leather belt around his waist.
He fed on locusts and wild honey.
And this is what he proclaimed:
“One mightier than I is coming after me.
I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.
I have baptized you with water;
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
In this season of Advent, we frequently encounter in the readings of the liturgy the austere figure of Saint John the Baptist, the Precursor of the Lord. His mission was to prepare and clear the way for the Lord. He called the people to repent their sins and to correct every injustice.
During these weeks of Advent, while we prepare for the celebration of Christmas, it is imperative that we hear the voice of John the Baptist and respond to his appeal for conversion. In this holy season, through the voice of John, the Church invites us to open up our hearts and receive the Son of God.
Unfortunately, as we all know, we can very easily lose our focus of faith during these weeks before Christmas and fall into the materialistic mindset of our culture today. However, we must be strong and not allow the voice of John the Baptist to be drowned out by all the noise around us.
During Advent, it is good to make straight the path of the Lord in our hearts by examining our lives, clearing the way for the Lord to act in us with His grace. The Sacrament of Penance is a great way for all of us to heed the call of John the Baptist to repentance and conversion. The question is this: When was the last time you utilized this most precious and important sacrament? Are you going to do something about it this year?
During these weeks of Advent, let us make sure we listen to the voice of John the Baptist so as to make room for Jesus, the Word who saves us, and to welcome Him into our hearts. Let us keep our focus on the Child in the manger and make sure we preserve the primacy of God in our lives.
Deacon Paul Zemanek