December 10, 2006  2nd Sunday of Advent (Year C)

Scripture:
Baruch 5: 1-9
Philippians 1:4-11
Luke 3:1-6

Advent is the season during which we prepare for Jesus’ birth. How do we prepare? By taking a new look at the basic meaning of our faith and Jesus’ teaching. ( a “new look” = conversion!) And the basic teaching of Jesus is: God loves each of us as we are. A deep realization of this basic truth brings us the gift of joy.


In the first reading from Baruch we see the Jewish people in deep sadness because the Temple has been destroyed and they are prisoners in distant Babylon. God says through his prophet Baruch: “Do not despair, do not wear clothes as if for a funeral, but put on bright, joyful clothes”, in other words: ”Have hope because God loves you; He cares for you”. God says exactly the same words today.


In the second reading, Paul speaks of Joy and he says “Christ Jesus loves you. God’s love and our joy are always connected. In the Gospel John the Baptist calls on us to be converted, to repent, that is, to make a new start, by looking at the way we are living now. (Always being able to make a new start on Jesus’ path for me is a great comfort + encouragement!)


All of us, precisely because we are human, in same way have crooked roads and rough, bumpy paths in our hearts. Let us open the doors of our hearts and let the love, the light and joy of God’s love shine in those hearts. Only with God’s strength can we make the paths of our heart straight and smooth.


Here is an exercise for Advent. Look very closely in a mirror. Look closely at your face, especially your eyes.

Through your eyes, look deeply into your heart. See yourself as you are, and then say to yourself out loud:

GOD LOVES ME AS I AM.


Do that often this week. The result will be peace and joy which is a gift from a loving, accepting God.

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