1.Isaiah 11:1-10
2. Romans15:4-9
Gospel: Matthew 3:1-12

                          " Change your course, reform life"

There is this story about three devils who were arguing over the best way to destroy the souls of people in the world.
The first demon says:" Let's tell all the Christians that the Bible is all fable." No, that will not do," the second devil said: " Let me go and I will tell them that there is no heaven or hell. Take away the fear of punishment and the man will not believe."

The third demon says, "There is one better way. Tell the Christians that there is God, that the Bible is inspired, that the Bible is true, that there is heaven and hell, Yes, but I will tell them there is NO HURRY; there is always a tomorrow." But then all is too late. At the end the devils agreed and they sent him.

You can ask yourself this question that why to wait until a sickness strikes before you get rid of some bad habits like excessive smoking or drinking, cursing or gossiping, or watching TV too much?

Advent is an opportune time to welcome Christ into our lives by bearing fruits of good deeds. "Every tree that is not fruitful," John the Baptist warns, " will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

The Second Sunday of Advent brings us the person of John the Baptist, the preacher who was listened to people of time because he had been a true witness. It is more interesting to know that the Catholic Church has given John a special place in our Advent Liturgy. If advent is about preparation for Christ's coming, then that preparation can be had through reflection on the person and brand of witnessing of John the Baptist.
Let us have a quick glance on the Matthaean passage and examine the person and witness of John the Baptist.

In the first place John is depicted in the gospel as a man of the desert. The first line of the gospel says that John was" preaching in the desert of Judea...."  Now what should be our concern with a desert? A desert like a mountain is a place where one can commune himself with God. It is a privileged place for spiritual leaders, like John. We are being challenged that our world today with all circumstances has made us very busy people. What is making us to be very busy people? We become very busy people with the advancement in technology such as using  social media networks like facebook, whatsapp, twiter etc therefore, by investing much of our energies and attentions to such social network medias we finally find that God has no room in our lives. Such situations calls us to withdraw to a " desert" to a place where we can commune ourselves with God.

Second, John is the man of simplicity. His witnessing can be revealed in the simplicity of clothing that he wears( camel's hair) and in the food that he eats( locust and honey). John does not cloth himself in the leaders of his day. Just as his robes are simple so do his food.  In our world today what aspect can be compared to this aspect attributed to John? In our world characterized consumerism and commercialism, there is never any room for simplicity. At times we are obsessed with the latest fashion, latest gadgets and latest products. Buying and possessing things would make us happy for a while but in the end we realize that these things never gives us the satisfaction that we long for. A simple life style makes it easier for God to enter into our lives.

Third, John is the man of truth. The prevailing truth of his time: conversion and repentance as necessary requirements for entering God's kingdom. His message is exceedingly radical, " Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" John is fearless in proclaiming this truth. This is clearly verified when the Pharisees and Sadducees came to him, he told them fearlessly, " You brood of vipers!....... Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance!" On our part sometimes we may find it difficult to follow John's footsteps because we have  tendency to please people, and to hurt them is a last thing we would ever do, by doing this we allow people to perpetuate their sinfulness and consequently, the road to conversion has never been possible.

We are challenged by the fact that the problem of repentance lies on people who are callous. The late John Paul II saw people in the modern world the loss of sense of sin while Pope Benedict XIV describes this as the loss of consciousness of sin. The observation of these two popes is undeniably true.

We need to make a U turn towards the basics of Christianity. This situation calls us to go back to that olden piety which suggests that a worthy reception of the sacrament of Eucharist demands a state of grace. Perhaps, the important thing that we would do is to remove our callousness. If there is something on our part to admire from people during john's time it would be their ability to listen and to obey. With a simple preaching of John( "Repent!"), the people instantly responded. On our days this is something that we lack. How many of us have cared to heed the call to conversion? I just wonder how many times should a priest say, " Repent" before people could admit that they have sinned and appreciate the sacrament of reconciliation.

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Chapisha Maoni