HOMILY

(2nd Sun. of Advent – B)

by: Msgr. Boy Villarruz

 

I – Introduction:

        St. Mark starts the story of Christ, not with his birth.

        It began with the DREAMS of the prophets long, long time ago – prophets like Isaiah when he said in our 1st reading today (Is. 40:1-5, 9-11): “A Shepherd will lead the return of the people Israel from the Babylonian exile wherein He will build a road across the desert.”

 

II – Message:

        But then, there was a problem. All of the sudden the voices of the prophets stopped.

        It was silent for 300 hundred years.

        The Jews thought, the dream of a Messiah had vanished.

        But it was a sign that the next & the last prophet that will come out will introduce the Messiah.

        That last prophet was John the Baptist, the 2nd cousin of our Lord.

        What did this man do to us?

 

1st: He introduced to us – the desert:

        In the Bible, the desert would mean a place of encounter w/ God.

        It was in the desert that the people of Israel met God & learnt his ways.

        It was in the desert that they became God’s people & the Lord became their God.

        It was in the desert that Christ spent 40 days & nights before He began his ministry.

        It was in the desert that they (including Christ) discovered & deepened their personal relationship with God.

        By calling the people into the desert, John the Baptist was calling them to let go of their false hopes & securities & learn to hope & trust in God.

 

2nd: He showed to us – his lifestyle:

        By his dressing & eating habits, he showed us that the meaning of life is not to be found in the abundance of material possessions.

        John showed us that simplicity of life & detachment from unnecessary cares & worries of social life will free our hearts for a personal relationship with God.

        We have our own hills & valleys in life that make it difficult for God to reach us or save us.

        These obstacles have to be leveled if we want to reach salvation.

 

3rd: And most importantly, He revealed to us – his calling that is still very relevant even today:

        John belongs to the family of priests, like his father, Zechariah.

        They expected him to practice his priesthood in the temple.

        But he practiced it in the desert & in the river Jordan – calling people to repentance & prepare for the coming of the Messiah.

        Why? Because that was his calling.

        Like John the Baptist, we have our own calling from God.

        Let us remember this saying: “You cannot choose your calling. It chooses you. You have been blessed by God with special skills that are yours alone. Use them well & forget about wearing another’s hat. A talented & skilled chariot driver can win a gold & be renowned. Let him pick apples & he will starve.”

 

III – Conclusion:

        In this season of Advent, the Church extends to us the call of John the Baptist.

        It is an opportunity to renew ourselves, as Peter in the 2nd reading (2 Pt. 3:14) says: “While waiting for the Day of the Lord, let us make an effort to be found w/out stain or defilement & at peace in his sight.”

        When we do this, then we are on the way to true repentance responding to call of John the Baptist.

        Everytime the Israelites would encounter problems, they would always cry out: “When Lord, when are you coming to save us.”

        It is now time for the Lord to say also to us: “When my sons & daughters, when will I find you?”

 

        Let us pause for a moment of reflection.