Dec 9 (Lk 3:1-6)

A man sat down to supper with his family and said the Grace before meals…

… thanking God for the food, for the hands which prepared it, and for the source of all life.

But as the meal started, began to complain…

… he complained about the freshness of the bread…

… the bitterness of the coffee

… and the sharpness of the cheese.

>> He also began to criticize about some of his work-mates as well as his relatives, who were not very understanding, he felt.

After some time, the young daughter questioned him, “Dad, do you think God heard the Prayer of Grace today?”

The father answered confidently, “Of course.”

Then she asked, “And do you think God heard what you said about the coffee, the cheese, and the bread…

… and also about the people you mentioned?”

Not so confidently, yet since he couldn’t deny, he answered, “Why, yes, I believe so.”

The little girl then concluded, “Then which do you think God believed, Dad?”

The man was suddenly aware that his mealtime prayer had become a routine…

… a thoughtless habit rather than an attentive and honest conversation with God.

By not concentrating to be charitable during the conversation at the meal, he had left the door open to let hypocrisy sneak in!

The Season of Advent is a time to look into all such areas of our life…

…which needs a change

… which needs a transformation!

The Gospel of the Day reminds and exhorts us to become aware of this aspect: making a true preparation to realize and receive a God, who wants to be intimately involved in our lives.

The Gospel begins with the mention of a series of names: political and religious leaders, which formed the context of the birth of Christ.

” In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas?” (Lk 3: 1-2)

What do these names of the political and religious figures point to?

1. It shows extent of the religious decay of the Israelites.

>> The Chosen People, who were to have God alone as their King and Ruler, are now ruled by pagan and foreign rulers

>> The Chosen People, who were to have God’s selected persons as Priests and Religious, are now guided by people who had been illegally appointed by the Roman Government

What do we learn?

>> When we fail to listen to God’s commandments and adamantly choose the path of sin, we are bringing upon the wrath of God’s justice on us

>> When we do not give heed to what God wants of us in our lives, we give the governing authority in our lives to Satan and his party, and thus give in to misery and slavery.

2. It also shows that Jesus is not any abstract entity, but One Who was part of our real, historical world

>> The mention of the religious and the political leaders is a clear proof offered by St Luke that Jesus truly, came in flesh and blood, in our history.

>> He is unlike any other godly figure whose historicity can be questioned. He, the God of History, chose to be born, live and be part of our real world – the world we live in.

What do we learn?

>> Jesus, as a historical person means that He can identify with our real problems and difficulties of life. In Him, there is truly Someone who understands us and has experienced what we ourselves undergo in life

>> Jesus, shows that God is not some philosophical abstract or a “creation of the mind” or some utopian idea; rather, Jesus is a God, Who became Emmanuel (= With us, God)

To welcome the birth of this God who wishes to involve in our lives, the messenger, John the Baptist, is sent ahead of Him.

The Gospel says, “John the Baptist went throughout the whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a Baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Lk 3: 3)

He also echoed what Isaiah the prophet had spoken, “Every valley shall be filled and every mount and hill made low” (Lk 3:5 & Is 40: 3-5)

Thus, we see, the message of John the Baptist can be shortly summarised into a short refrain: Repair and Prepare!

This then, ought to be a message that we carry for our lives…

… as we are exhorted to make ready a place for the Birth of the God, Who wants to be intimately involved in our lives – Repairing and Preparing!

>> Repair: the dark areas of our life, where sin and evil reigns…

… and Prepare: a place, where holiness and God’s sanctity can dwell!

>> Repair: the broken relationships which suffer for lack of forgiveness…

… and Prepare: a heart, which accepts the failures of people and gives them more space!

>> Repair: the bad inclinations and addictions, to which we cling on and find it hard to let go…

… and Prepare: a mind, which is focussed on having Jesus alone as the Lord of one’s life!

Yes, the Lord wishes to come to us.. with His comforting presence and His forgiving love.

>> All that He wishes is that, we be ready to receive Him worthily.

He braves much difficulties… He humbles Himself immensely…

>> Are we ready to bow and accept this magnanimous love of the Divine?

As the words of a popular hymn goes, “Great things happen, when God mixes with us?”

… Let us Repair & Prepare our lives, so that “God can mix in our lives” and we can truly experience His Greatness in our lives!

Let us have the courage to overcome and set-right all routines and activities of our life of faith…

… any thoughtless habits that fail to have an attentive and honest conversation with God.

Let this Season of Advent be a time to look into all such areas of our life…

…which needs a change

… which needs a transformation!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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