Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Second Sunday of Advent (Year B)

by  Charlene Aguilar Escobal

GOSPEL: Mark 1: 1-8. The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, "Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare the way; the voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight---" 

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And there went out to him all the country of Judea, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel's hair, and had a leather girdle around his waist, and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, "After me comes he who is mightier than I, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

The Gospel of our Lord begins with John the Baptist calling everyone's conversion; a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. From St. Elizabeth's conception of him, John the Baptist was blessed by God. And while he was in her mother's womb , Elizabeth was visited by none other than our Lord's mother, Mama Mary, who very humbly served Elizabeth until John was born. Yet John called himself unworthy of the Lord. Although he lived in the desert,and lived a hermit life,he was full of prayers and contemplations all his life. Still he felt unworthy of the coming One. Yet all John asked of the people was to be baptized and repent for their grievous sins. This Gospel only shows how Merciful God is upon His people. If John was unworthy of the Lord, what more are we, who sin every day, every minute, scarcely thinking about God. But still God sent us our John the Baptist's of today, our priests. Calling us to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, to Confession. Just like the people of Israel during John's time, God is always giving us second chance to be cleansed of our sins.

Lots of people think priests are unworthy to forgive them, being weak and imperfect at times too like the rest of us. But like John's example, we are all unworthy but GOD's grace and mercy are so abundant, it covers all our sins.

The One coming this Christmas, we will never be worthy of Him, but because He love us, He chose the lowly manger so that we will never be 'shy' to enter and give Him a gift...ourselves.

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