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ADVENT II SUNDAY

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ADVENT II SUNDAY

Post  @doi on Thu Dec 04 2008, 08:38

SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT YEAR B
Mk 1:1-18

John the Baptist has an important role in the life and mission of Jesus. Even while he is in his mother's womb, he heralds Jesus' presence. He "leaps for joy" at the sound of Mary's voice. Filled with the Holy Spirit his mother Elizabeth blesses Mary and asks, "How does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Lk 1:43).

In his public ministry, John announces the coming of Jesus. He prepares his people to welcome Jesus. He leads them to Jesus and makes them know that he is the awaited Messiah.


Like John, we have an important role to play in Jesus' coming. We can prepare ourselves for this by giving time for Jesus. We can do this by forgiving those who have offended us, by lending a helping hand to those in need, by visiting the sick or the lonely, by helping the outcast be reintegrated to the community of God's people.

Like John, we can speak for Jesus. John is the "voice" that condemns evil, criticizes falsehood, and clears out misconceptions. We can do our share by correcting mistakes, righting a wrong, and healing a hurt. We can also speak in behalf of the less privileged, the forgotten, and the ignored members of our society.

We should act for Jesus. Aside from giving time for Jesus and speaking for him, we can also do something for him and his people. We should do what is expected of us--continuing Jesus' mission on earth. We must act now for Jesus and aim high for him.




CHALLENGE

Are we producing good results for Jesus? Are we acting favorably for him?

Now is the time to speak and act for Jesus. What would you tell your family and friends about Jesus? What would you tell them about what Jesus did for you?


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ADVENT III SUNDAY

Post  @doi on Sat Dec 13 2008, 11:53

ADVENT III SUNDAY YEAR B
Jn 1,6-8.19-28

On the far side of the Jordan where John was baptizing...priests and levites from Jerusalem came to ask him, "Who are you?"

All roads led to Jerusalem where Jewish leadership resided. So why should the high priests and levites bother at all with a hermit whose home was the wide desert beyond the Jordan? It worried them to see pious people leaving the Temple and hiking river-wards... in search of someone who could give firsthand witness to his experience of God.

Within mainline churches we still hear much talk about an alarming many-sided decline of clerical influence and religious vocations, of Sunday attendance and mass collections, etc. And the usual blame is hurled against our fast "secularizing" world, yet we seem to ignore where the exodus from our churches is leading to. Thriving in our times are sects and cults that peddle spiritualities ranging from fundamentalism to millenarism, yet all cater to the perennial human search for meaning. These "new religions" are not the problem. The enemy is within, an we start naming its evils- once we start honestly responding to the trying questions: Why are those who used to sit and kneel at our pews no longer finding nourishment before our pulpits and altars? For what have they voted with their feet instead?

"I am not the Christ! I am the voice ... crying: Prepare for the Lord!" "Coming after me is one who stands among you, unkown... I am not even fit to undo his sandal-strap."

With sparing verbal strokes John sketches a lowly image of himself, but the noblest project for his life. Without such purifying humility, all ministry quickly strays away from preparing for the Lord to preaching oneself as star. Minister next turns to merchant as she/he starts counting profits intead of feeding the flock.

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