Sermons

Summary: The Second Sunday of Advent.

Finding God in Us

Scripture:

Isaiah 40:1-5,

Isaiah 40:9-11,

2 Peter 3:8-15,

Mark 1:1-8.

Reflection

Dear sisters and brothers,

Let us begin our reflection listening to the Gospel according to Mark (Mark1:1-18):

“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.””

We are in the second Sunday of the advent season and we have a text with wonderful meaning to our lives.

To highlight a few sentences for our reflection…we will go through one by one.

1. Sending:

“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.”

Sending is the first highlight of reflection.

It contains a set of questions and answers for us aiding in our reflection and preparing the right way of life on this earth with His grace.

There are questions and answers…

Who is sending?

It is God, who sends us out to the world.

How does God send us?

God sends us as His messengers.

When does God send us?

God sends us ahead of Him.

In other words, God sends us before He Himself comes.

Why does God send us?

God sends us to prepare His path.

Therefore, we are sent out as messengers ahead of Him to prepare His path.

2. Desert:

Where do we prepare His path?

We prepare His path in the desert.

What is the desert?

The desert is the encounter between God and human as we understand biblically.

To go into the desert is to leave behind the normal problems of life on which we tend to depend.

Such life problems we often find in our job, in our relationships and in our routine religious practices.

God cannot do much with us as long as we hope and trust in these things as the first things that give meaning to our lives.

When the heart is full no one can come into our hearts not even God.

We have to let go first what we are holding on to embrace God.

Our responsibility is to empty ourselves from what we hold on, so that God can embrace us with His presence.

These letting go is symbolised by a journey into the barren desert.

As we said it earlier, the desert has come to mean a place of encounter with God.

It was in the desert that the people of Israel met God to learn the ways of God before they become God’s own people and God became their Lord.

Firstly, they let go off their own comfort.

It is not easy.

It is difficult.

It needs discipline.

It demands integration of life.

When we do it, we begin to realise our worth as the creation of God, meaning of sending, responsibility of a messenger and importance of transforming our ways into His path, as Jesus spends 40 days and nights in the desert before assuming his public ministry to discover and deepen his personal relationship with God.

It was a time for preparation.

In the same way, by calling the people of Israel into the desert, John was calling them to let go off their false hopes and securities.

3. Dependence:

It is a learning period for people to hope and trust in God alone.

In the last few months we live in the uncertainties of our lives, lost jobs, financial crisis, death of our loved ones …and we are anxious of the future with the first wave and the second wave.

Religious rituals and practices are questioned when religious places are closed.

Then, we learn.

We learn new ways to hope and trust in God alone.

We learn God is with us, not in our structures.

We learn God is within us, not in our rituals and religious practices.

John lived what he preached.

By his lifestyle, his dressing and eating habits, he showed that the meaning of life is not to be found in the abundance of material possessions but in relationship with God.

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Louisa D'souza

commented on Dec 4, 2020

Sending, Desert, Dependence and Finding In all these you have made it very clear that True faith demands! That we are people who need to integrate words with actions. You have also said beautifully that, In order to give meaning to our lives we have to empty ourselves from what we hold on, so that God can embrace us with His presence. Thank you for inspiring and encouraging us. May we always allow God to enter into our lives, and see the miracle of abundance and satisfaction.

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