Dec 4, 2014

A look to Sunday - A voice cries out





Of all the figures in the Advent season, Isaiah the Prophet, Mary the Mother of Jesus, Joseph, and finally John the Baptist, the baptizer's voice is heard loud and strong - "Prepare the way of the Lord!" While Isaiah, Mary and Joseph all had a specific role to play in the plan of salvation, John's voice in the desert is the hinge between the Old and New Testament.  With John's ministry of repentance and Jesus' immanent coming, John indeed prepared and this day continues to prepare all for the Lord's birth and God's revelation of his new Covenant with humankind.  In Jesus we see the fulfillment of the Hebrew scriptures and the fulfillment of the Jewish religion. 


But, more specifically John's call to "repentance for the forgiveness of sins" is a fundamental invitation to all of us to prepare, to clean our spiritual house, to make ready the way for the Lord.  While Jesus has already come more than 2,000 years ago every age and every generation needs to hear the good news once again.  The hope of the Old Testament was the coming of the Messiah, fulfilled in Jesus Christ.  Our hope is his coming again at the end of all time.  But, we see and hear him in Word, Sacrament and the faith we share and live. 


It seems to me we need to ask ourselves, "What voice do I hear crying out to me? What voice do I follow?"  Our modern society has many voices - you need this, you need to buy that, you need to upgrade your latest technology, you need another of this and another of that, you need, you need . . .


These are daily voices that, if we are serious about our spiritual life, can distract us away from our basic spiritual relationship with God as we prepare for the remembrance of his entry into our lives.


While there is nothing wrong with the latest and the flashiest whatever, is that all we hear?  Where is the voice of faith, the word of God calling out to us and do I listen? 


As we prepare for the second week of Advent, let's hear the voice of the prophet crying out in the desert:


Mark 1: 1-8


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.”