Second Sunday of Advent
The featured preacher today is John the Baptist. He, as all know, is the relative and friend of Jesus who calls all to "repent and make straight" the way we live our lives. For most that "repent" word usually means that there is a need for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Gospel repentance, as an Irish Jesuit noted, is more than an invitation. It is a calling. It is a calling to do more than remove sin from our "record." Gospel repentance is a calling to change one's life, one's way of living.
The same Irish Jesuit noted that we are fortunate to receive this calling because its requirements are not required immediately. God's calling for most people is given a length of time for its fulfillment. God is always generous. The call to repentance we hear from John the Baptist can be likened to the unknown voice of "On Star" or any one of the GPS devices found in other cars without On Star or even on some cell phones. It is the voice that says "Recalculating." Or it is the voice that says "at the first opportunity, make a U Turn."
During this Advent Season that inaugurates the Church's 2012 Liturgical Year, we are called, as in prior Advents, to instill in our lives a genuine peace that comes about by making a serious effort to live as Jesus has called us. And, at the same time, this Advent season can easily become a time when each of us has the opportunity to lead another person to the Bethlehem stable to know the love of Jesus Christ.