2nd Tuesday of Advent
Isaiah 40:1-11; Matthew 18:12-14
Advent is a time for renewed hope that leads us to the light of the Word Made Flesh. While every Christian life has its share of challenges, it is important to keep in mind that because of God’s infinite mercy, these challenges will not last forever. Our challenges are removed in love, when sin is forgiven. In the mystery of the Incarnation, God’s mercy is made tangible. In Christ’s paschal sacrifice, the victory of grace is made manifest. In Christ’s victory over sin and death, true penitents receive from the hand of God double for all their sins; for the satisfaction Christ made by his self-sacrificing death was of infinite value. As the highway was prepared for the people of God to return to the Holy City, so the Lord prepares a highway for our return to our heavenly homeland. If we willingly surrender to God’s grace, our high and proud thoughts will be brought down. If we welcome God’s implanted Word, good desires will flourish, crooked paths will be made straight and rugged tempers softened.
Following Jesus is not a matter of methodology, but in letting Him precede us and set the pace for our journey. If we abandon ourselves to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, every hindrance will be removed. The word of the Lord can do for us what no earthly power can do for us. True to his word, the Lord will do all that he promised. The Savor of the World is a constant and reassuring presence who searches for and finds the lost, who comforts the sorrowing and carries the weak close to his heart.
Light from Light overcame the prince of darkness and made His followers bearers of light. Our role in preparing the way for Jesus is to announce, to witness, to show how full of joy and how free we are by the personal relationship we have with Jesus. We are not our own, we belong to the Shepherd of our souls and are under his authority. He commissioned us to carry the Light of Truth to all who continue to wonder in the valley of darkness and death. Having found our resting place close to the Heart of Christ, we can reach out to all who feel disconnected from family and friends, from life itself. In order to do this, we have to learn how to listen, and remember the importance of achieving dialogue between faith and contemporary culture. We need to imitate the style of Jesus, who adapted himself to the people He had in front of Him so as to bring God’s love to them. The transmission of faith means, above all, communicating the life of the Risen One with words that accompany actions of life that free and heal; it’s heart-to-heart communication.
We who ponder the living the Gospel and are conformed to the Living Word are to live a communion of love with all the members of the Body of Christ. We must not be afraid to allow ourselves to be loved and liberated by God. When we are on fire with the reality of the Incarnation of our God, we become not only more charitable, and kind and generous. We become on fire with being advocates for those in need. We desire, with Jesus, filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, to stand up and speak the truth about the need for justice and prepare a highway for God’s Kingdom come on earth – as it is in heaven. God is here and that is enough (St. Francis of Assisi).