HOMILY FOR THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT YEAR B.
HOMILY THEME: DON’T BE DECIEVED BY THE PACKAGING
BY: Fr Christian Eze
First reading – Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11 Second reading – 2 Peter 3:8-14 Gospel – Mark 1:1-8
It was up to four hundred years of silence before John the Baptist appeared in the desert to herald the coming of the Messiah. The Jewish people had been sadly conscious that there had been no prophet for centuries. It was a kind the prophet Daniel described thus: “We have at this time no leader, no prophet, no prince, no holocaust, no sacrifice, no oblation, no incense, no place where we can offer you the first fruits and win favour” (Dan. 3:38). Their eyes were so full of tears waiting to be consoled. We can understand the message of Isaiah in the first reading of today: “Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid” (Is. 40:1). And now, suddenly they saw John the Baptist in the wilderness, the man in the desert. He appeared in a garment made of camel-hair with leather for belt around his waist. His food was locust and wild honey. What could a man of this sort offer? Were the people disappointed at such sight? I think some may have been much confused if not doubting. Yes, Jesus noted this when He asked them: “What did you go out in the desert to see … A man wearing fine clothes? Oh no…a prophet? (Matt. 11:7-10). The man in the desert, what could he offer? Yet, it was John who has finally brought the good news of the salvation they had long awaited. I pity those who did not believe him.
How long have you wept? How long has your tears dripped? How long have you sought them to be wiped off? Here is the voice of your redeemer, your comforter, the one who has come to bring you the joyful tidings. Look up! “See, I am about to do a new thing, even now it comes to light; can you not see it?” (Is. 43:19). Your consolation may appear in a manner you never expected; a man in the desert. His message might even seem absurd to you just as that of John the Baptist to the Jews. John’s preaching was that of repentance and forgiveness of sins. All who believed him rejoiced at the coming of the messiah. They were comforted. The voice you have begun to hear this Advent season is that of "retreat and confessions”. Would you ignore that voice as being that of the desert man? Or would you heed the voice? Your comfort might be there. A striking point is that this comfort the messiah brings cannot get in if the ground of our hearts are not prepared; hence “prepare a way for the Lord”
This voice I hear today, I cannot be sure I will hear it tomorrow. Why not I pay attention to it? Approach the sacrament of reconciliation this advent season. Confess your sins to God repent from your sins. You will receive a Divine consolation