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Second Sunday of Advent (A) – 8 December 2019 by Fr. Diago Fernandes MSFS

Second Sunday of Advent (A) – 8 December 2019 by Fr. Diago Fernandes MSFS

Is 11:1-10
Rom 15:4-9 Mt. 3:1-12
“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything
whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.” —says Saint Francis de Sales. Let us begin with a real story in the life
of Ms. Clare. She had land dispute in her own family, was
always left away from her family because of land disputes. She kept fighting against the issues in the
family for years. She believed that she was right in every way. After many years she met a priest who helped
her in this regard during a Charismatic retreat. He said to her, ‘Clare what will go ahead
of you even before your death is the type of relationship you have had with your family
people. You are sick, you are weak and you are fragile
not because you are not eating nutritious food, but because the disunity, hatred and
family dispute is eating you up. After listening to him and the Word of God,
she takes God and the priest very seriously, and promptly decides to surrender herself
to her family members by withdrawing the long standing dispute in the court. She went to her brothers and sisters, kneeling
before them saying “I am sorry for creating war, disharmony and stagnation in the growth
of our family. For her surprize, Mr. Sujil, her Elder brother
gave her a big news saying, “thanks for this reunion dear, just on this day we realized
that the disputed property was your share and we were holding on to grudges against
each other for no reason. We have decided to register the disputed property
in your name”. Clare no more felt the need of the property. She realized that peace was all that she was
longing for. The return of the property gave her no joy,
but returning to the family gave her an everlasting peace. With the beginning of Advent we turn to the
coming of Christ, in history, in mystery and in majesty. Isaiah 11 urges us to the place of intercession,
where we long for creation’s promised destiny, where peace, justice, and grace have the final
word. You cannot make war if you have converted
your tanks into chicken houses and your aircraft-carriers into skateboard parks – the modern equivalent
of swords into ploughshares and swords into sickles. So advent is a time for reconciliation of
quarrels as we prepare for the coming of Christ at Christmas. Paul reminds us that Jesus loved and saved
all. He calls upon each of us to imitate this model
of love. To love people in our ministry and life, without
counting the cost. Just as Jesus related us to His Father so
too we are called to relate every other human person to him. Paul exhorts the Romans that they must treat
each other in the same friendly way as Christ treated them. Christ’s generosity towards our salvation
should be taken as an example to love one another without any discriminations. In the Gospel we see that the message of John
the Baptist was wholly positive, a change of behaviour, a change of direction. John is calling on them to change their behaviour,
to change their ways, to change their value system, and their whole direction of life. He takes on the clothing of Elijah, the prophet
who was to return to announce the final coming of the Lord. He is the last prophet who is preparing the
way of the Lord. John the Baptist was proclaiming the threatening
and imminent arrival of the sovereignty of God, when rotten trees would be cut down and
evil swept away to be burnt in unquenchable fire. My dear brothers and sisters, if we are open
to the arrival of the Kingship of God, we may need to look to our scale of values. Am I the only person who matters to me? Let us begin to think from here. Repentance includes feeling sorry for one’s
personal sins, but it is much more. To repent is to take a clear-minded look at
the ways in which one’s life colludes with the assumptions and behaviours of the old
age, to turn away from such complicity, and to turn towards God and the attitudes and
actions of the realm of heaven. The revolutionary work of John the Baptist
will probably surprize us because in our day to day life can we exert on such Kingship
values to people around us? They would rather say you do it first and
then try to mind the business of others. Yes, it is true. You do it first and then teach them by your
ways. Jesus does not instruct us the way we might
be sermonizing the Word of God to others. He loved the poor. Showed mercy to the sinners. John the Baptist lived a very austere and
self-disciplined life. The season of advent is inviting us to live
strict, genuine, and self-disciplined life in Christ, causing exemplary life to others. Life and values that will give hope to others
to live as transformed and renewed brothers and Sisters in Jesus Christ….. Live Jesus..

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