Second Sunday of Advent (B) Violet
Is 40: 1-5, 9-11 • Ps 85 • 2 Pt 3: 8-14
Mk 1:1–8 • John the Baptist prepares the Lord’s Way
1The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.
2As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:/ Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;/ he will prepare your way./ 3A voice of one crying out in the desert:/ “Prepare the way of the Lord,/ make straight his paths./ 4John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5People 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. 6John was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He fed on locusts and wild honey. 7And 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. 8I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Call for a New Life
“Ayokong magsimba baka masunog ako”—I once heard these words from a youngster. He thought that his body would suddenly catch fire when he entered the church because of his many sins. Persons like him consider themselves unworthy of the forgiveness of God. But this is not true because since from the Old Testament times, we see how God has been inviting his people to come to him. He wanted the Israelites to turn away from their rebellion and follow the laws that God has established.
In the Gospel today, we read that God sent John the Baptist to prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah. This last prophet before Jesus proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. His message was not only for the Israelites but is for us also.
Do not think that you need to be holy first before you come to God. You cannot do it alone. Deny it or not, you need the help of God. Do not think that your situation is so hopeless that no one can ever pick you up again. Hey! God is powerful. He can do the impossible. But you must do your part by deciding to go back to him. St. Teresa of Avila wrote, “Christ does not force our will, he takes only what we give him. But he does not give himself entirely until he sees we give ourselves entirely to him.” Repentance is giving our entire life to God. We must turn our back from our old dark paths and take a new road filled with the light of God. Thus, we will receive the gifts of freedom and joy.
Repentance is like an open gate where God meets us saying “I love you” to each one of us. Will you accept his love today? Say yes now and your life will never be the same again.
- Who is the prophet in the Old Testament mentioned in the Gospel?
- What is the place called where John the Baptist is baptizing?
- How does John the Baptist describe the one who will come after him?
- Is it hard to respond to God’s call for repentance? Why or why not?
- For you, what are the right steps for repentance?
- How can love be the powerful tool of God that draws us back to him?
- Evaluate yourself. What are the things that you need to surrender to God?
- List the things that you must do to take the road to freedom.
- Find someone inclined to matters of the spirit who can listen to your plan to take the road of repentance. Ask for his/her advice and listen with humility.