Remaining open to His grace to share His generous spirit...
Reflections on the readings for the Second Sunday of Advent (December 8, 2019): IS 11:1-10; PS 72:1-2,7-8,12-13,17; ROM 15:4-9; MT 3:1-12
MISSIO offers “Mission In Scripture” to nurture a missionary heart, providing reflections on the missionary themes in the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days
John the Baptist knew that he was not the Messiah.
God called him before he was even conceived to serve as His messenger to those who awaited the coming of the Christ. He stood there in the desert at the bank of the Jordan River preaching to all who came to hear him. This included many people of good will who were anxious to learn about the coming of the kingdom of God. But it also included those who were curious but closed to John’s words of hope. Some Jewish leaders thought themselves far above anything this strange man in his camel’s hair clothing could tell them about God’s plans for His people. He warned them not to presume too much. And then he went on to tell the crowd about the one for whom they were really waiting. “I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry His sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11).
Today, many of us still tend to presume too much. We are Christians, Catholics and we believe that Jesus came to save us. And so He did. Yet do we think and act like true followers of Christ? Do our attitudes and choices reflect our lives as His disciples? As we buy Christmas presents for our family and friends, do we prepare gifts for those in need? As we clean and decorate our homes, do we examine our souls and invite Christ to be with us always? Let us appreciate our own baptism when the Holy Spirit transformed our soul. And let us resolve that we never take this profound blessing for granted.
Suggested missionary action: Advent is a great time to think about our baptismal vows. We can also pray for all who are contemplating being baptized and what it means to walk in the way of Christ. And we can consider the example we offer them in following our faith in Him.