“Experiencing the ‘comfort of the Lord’ and allowing His ‘Evangelion’ – the Good News – to find a place to be born in our hearts in this Season!”
(Based on Isa 40:1-5,9-11, 2 Pet 3:8-14 and Mk 1:1-8 – 2nd Sunday of Advent, Year B)
The Disney movie “The Lion King” features a young lion named Simba.
Simba is destined to rule the world!
The movie begins with a scene where Simba’s father takes him to “Pride Rock” (the equivalent of a throne) and shows him his inheritance.
But soon afterwards, a wicked plot by the evil hyenas is set, and Simba’s father is murdered.
Simba fled from the place due to fear and uncertainity.
The hyenas seized the throne and with evil, the land becomes desolate and desperate.
It’s in this situation that Rafiki, a monkey – a wise sage of the land – seeks out Simba.
He helps Simba to overcome his fear and aids him in understanding his destiny and person.
He made him realize what was the power and the authority that he was inherent with!
Once Simba realized who he was and what he possessed, and his role in the society…
… he drove way the hyenas Pride Rock and took His place as king!
Thus peace and beauty were restored to the land.
It needed a Rafiki – the wise monkey sage- to make Simba realize his worth…
… and his duties!
That’s how it is in our Christian lives as well…
God intervenes in our life – either by Himself directly, or through some other people or situations
And makes us realize and recognize our worth and our duties.
The Gospel of the Day is an intervention by God in the life of the people of Israel – through the instrumentality of John the Baptist…
… making the people to realize and recognize their worth and duties.
On this Second Sunday of Advent, the Gospel presented before us, is the starting of the Gospel of St Mark, beginning with…
… “The beginning of the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ the Son of God.” (Mk 1:1)
The word “Gospel” is from the Greek word, “Evangelion”…
…. Which means a “Good News”
When St Mark begins by saying, “The beginning of the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ, the Son of God”, he is announcing the “good news” that Jesus, the King has come…
… to deliver His people out of every bondage
… to redeem His people and bring them back to His Kingdom.
It was a fulfilment of the words of prophet Isaiah (as we see in today’s First Reading),
“Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God.” (Is 40:1)
(These words of Isaiah were a “good news” to the People of Israel, who had been in captive, and now…
… were to be delivered out of their bondage
… were to be redeemed by having their Kingdom restored)
This announcing of “comfort to the people” is done through the instrumentality of John the Baptist.
He exhorts the people to receive the “comfort of the Lord” by overcoming all their bondages…
… by his words: asking the people to repent of their sin (Mk 1:4)
… by his appearance: in the resemblance of Elijah, the Prophet – to signify that He was preparing the “way of the Lord” (Mk 1:6)
Are we prepared to give heed to this call of John the Baptist?
… asking us to repent of our sins?
… asking us to prepare a “way for the Lord?”
The Lord wishes all of us to experience “His Comfort” in our lives
But this can happen…
… only if we repent of our sins
… only if we seek to prepare a “way for the Lord”
St Peter reminds us of the Merciful Patience of the Lord and the duty placed on us to repent:
“But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day.
The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance” (2 Pet 3:8-9_
Let’s examine our lives…
What are the areas in my life, that needs the aspect of “repentance”
… with respect to some of my spiritual practices
… with respect to some of my relationships
… with respect to some of the “unhealthy” habits, to which I keep clinging
What are the areas in my life, that requires me to “prepare a way for the Lord?”
… with respect to bringing the “awareness of the Lord’s Presence” in my daily works and activites
… with respect to “repairing” some relationships that needs a conscious effort on my part
Our Christian lives constantly has God intervening in our life…
…. either by Himself directly, or through some other people or situations
To make us realize and recognize our worth and our duties.
And today, through the Gospel Reading on John the Baptist…
… the Lord is intervening in our lives!
Let’s give heed…
Let’s make the suitable changes….
May this Season of Advent, continue to help us, to experience, the “comfort of the Lord” in our lives…
… and thus may His “Evangelion” – the Good News – find a place to be “born in our hearts” in this Festive Season!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “He will unfailingly be pleased with our patience…