John the Baptizer’s images of desert places and of cleansing fire (Matthew 3:1-12) grasps our attention on this Second Sunday of Advent. At times our lives in Florida, as a result of either a lack or abundance of water, can either be a humid fertile land of abundant flowers or a dry and dusty place teetering on the edge of a wildfire. How quickly, however, does the earth recover after a fire as tender shoots of green sprout up amongst the ashes! And how fertile the land becomes after the storm waters recede and return to the rivers and streams from whence they came!
Advent is a bit more than weather forecasts and geographical topography. It is about opening ourselves to the possibility of the Kingdom where opposites attract and thrive together. It is about a new harmony in nature and a new nature changing our minds and hearts… it is about lions and lambs who find safety and peace in each other’s presence! Thus we pray:
Your Kingdom is at hand, O God of justice and peace; you made John the Baptist its herald to announce the coming of your Christ, who baptizes with the Holy Spirit and with fire. Give us a spirit of repentance to make us worthy of His Kingdom. Let complacency yield to conviction, that in our day justice will flourish and conflict give way to the peace you bestow in Christ. We ask this through him whose coming is certain, whose day draws near: your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever!
Once again, I thank you for your generosity with our Angel Tree! The clients of Outward Sign and Faith Neighborhood Center, parishioners from Santo Toribio Romo, and the residents of our parish nursing homes will share and benefit from the fruits of your love!
May God, the almighty and merciful, in whom you have received the grace to place your faith in the First Coming of His Only Begotten Son and yearn for His Second Coming in glory and majesty, sanctify you by the radiance of Christ’s Advent and enrich you with His many blessings!