I am with you always until the end of this world - Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

Preach the Word in season and out of season reproving, rebuking or advising always with patience and providing instructions (2 Timothy 4:2).

Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you (Luke 1:30).

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. - G. K. Chesterton

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Friday, December 2, 2016

Reflection for Sunday December 4, Second Sunday of Advent; Matthew 3:1-12

Gospel: Matthew 3:1-12
John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: A voice of one crying out in the desert, Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. At that time Jerusalem, all Judea, and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.

When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.
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A mother who had a wayward son would always plead him to change his ways and repent from his sinfulness. However, the son would always turn a deaf ear to her mother’s pleadings.  The mother eventually died without seeing her son’s repentance.  After a few years the son also died brought about by his living a life of sin.

This story is perhaps the story also of people who lead sinful lives. There would always be someone who would call their attention to change for the better to move forward and leave behind their sinfulness. Some would listen and change some would be so stubborn that they would not heed the call. They will instead continue to live their lives according to how they want it to be: to live it in sin until the very end.

During the time of John the Baptist he called also for repentance because the people of Judea were living in sin. John was a Prophet who lived his life in utter simplicity and humility. He wore clothing made of camel’s hair his food was locust and wild honey.

Many listened to his call because he was worthy of his advocacy, he showed the people of his time that he was walking his talk; he lived according to what he was preaching.

We can endlessly preach repentance to our fellowmen but if we do not live what we preach, if we do not walk what we talk nobody would listen to us. That’s what separate John the Baptist from us, he was a worthy herald for Jesus simply because he walked his talk. He supported his call of repentance by living it and by shunning the trappings and comforts of his world.

This second week of Advent let us have a reflective self-examination of ourselves: have we called for repentance to people who are within our circle of influence?  

Are we living the life of John the Baptist: his life of simplicity and his life of humility? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

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