December 9, 2018
Second Sunday of Advent - Repentance the best way to prepare for Christmas
John the Baptist was the strong prophet, who prepared the way of the Lord. What drew great crowds to a finger-pointing hermit who had no beautiful appearance? It was the strong voice for repentance. He told the crowds to run away from sin, which results in the wrath of God. John’s task was to prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah. His words were so powerful that led the people to repentance. Many people repented and were baptized.
This Advent season is meant to be a time for us to hear John’s words and to prepare our hearts for Jesus’ birthday. If we live in a sinful state, we cannot see Jesus or experience Him and receive His blessings. The message of Christmas is peace. If our hearts are filled with sins, we cannot get that peace which only comes from Jesus who is the peace. Through repentance, God wants to lead us out of guilt, alienation and shame, into joy and freedom. When we repent, our relationship with Jesus is restored and deepened. In repenting, we remove the veil of confusion and deception, which sin weaves in our hearts; and so we are enabled to see the beauty of God's truth and goodness.
Let us take this Advent time to examine our lives in the light of God’s commandments. Let us not avoid the beautiful and holy sacrament of reconciliation (confession), but embrace it for all the grace and power it offers to us. “Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son Jesus to redeem us from sin and death. Give us genuine and repentant hearts to receive your Son Jesus, our Savior.”