Second Sunday of AdventOn this Second Sunday of Advent, we hear the Gospel that John the Baptist cries in the wilderness declaring the coming of the Lord:
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and Philip his brother tetrarch of Iturea, and the country of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilina; Under the high priests Annas and Caiphas; the word of the Lord was made unto John, the son of Zacharias, in the desert. And he came into all the country about the Jordan, preaching the baptism of penance for the remission of sins; As it was written in the book of the sayings of Isaias the prophet: A voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled; and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight; and the rough ways plain; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.
John called people to repentance because before they could fathom the love that God was about to unleash among them unless they first had hearts that were open to receive that love. John understood that Christ came to free men from sin, not free men to live in sin, or save men that they may sin perpetually, as some teach.
Sin is the willful and knowing transgression of the Law of God. Though we all may be guilty of it and need forgiveness for it, that forgiveness is not license to live a life marred by sin because God will forgive us again and again. Sin is more than a choice on our part to do wrong, but it is an open act of rebellion against God, and in that sense, it is an act of hatred.
Contrast sin as an act of hatred with an act of love. The act of love that we celebrate at Advent is that God came into the world as a tiny baby in a manger to live a life of poverty and rejection, ultimately to be put to death. Because of His death, we may rise to new Life as He rose from the dead.
Lord, where there is hatred, let us know love.
Here is the band Blue Highway singing about that love.
Labels: Holy Mother Church