Saint Thomas of Canterbury, Bolton

Stay with us, Lord, on our journey

Cycle C

Second Sunday of Advent

johnbaptist.jpg

 Luke 3: 1-6

“Prepare a way for the Lord”

We proclaim our faith in Jesus Christ who has died, who is risen and who “will come again”. For many people today, however, Jesus Christ is a remote figure of past history who does not touch their lives in any meaningful way at all. As we hear John the Baptist today, we are challenged to ask about our own experience. How significant is Jesus in my life? Does he remain, even for me, just a remote figure from the past? In what meaningful ways does he ‘touch’ into my life? What is my own personal relationship with Jesus? In what ways might that relationship be deepened? What does it mean, to prepare a way for his coming?

It can easily happen that our personal faith journey could become primarily concerned with various external religious activities and practices and concerns, when what we really need most is to know how Jesus Christ can come more positively and perfectly into our lives. We have to be constantly seeking to deepen our relationship with Christ and wanting to commit our lives to him, otherwise we face the risk that all else can become somewhat superficial. So what can we do about it; how can we best respond this year to John the Baptist’s Advent challenge to “prepare a way for the Lord”?

Now, Jesus promised that he would be with us always, at all times and in all the circumstances of our lives. To speak of preparing for his coming, therefore, is not to suggest that he has ever been absent from us. Quite simply, he is with us all the time; the sad thing is that we are not always with him. The problem here is that he can be with us in a truly personal relationship only in the measure that we open our hearts to welcome him and commit ourselves to him. John the Baptist called for repentance – which means making a fresh start in life. The season of Advent again brings us an invitation to reconciliation, not as a seasonal ritual but as a genuine act of repentance, affirming our welcome for Jesus and renewing our commitment to him.