I can’t believe how many bargains are in the shops this year? The Reserve Bank has kept Interest rates the same….but next year it seems they might go up. Now is the time to buy! Really? What about the after Christmas sales? I always thought that they were the very best sales of the year? So, with what we hear on Radio Advertisements, and see on T.V; let alone all the adverts that come through to us on our Tablets or iphones, and other devices, there is enough energy to down tools, shop on line, or hope in the car and go to Bunning’s Now!
In the Readings for the Second Sunday of Advent year A, there is a very different kind of energy being generated, which really urges us to stand up, and listen! There is electricity in God’s Word today; a current that calls us to STOP, LOOK AND LISTEN! As we take time to carefully engage with God’s Word from the Prophet Isaiah today, we can hear the Prophet speaking with great enthusiasm, with an urgency that he cannot contain. He speaks as though he is at Echo Point in the Blue Mountains…the Spirit of God within him causes great gusto in the Word that is being proclaimed, and one can imagine it echoing around the valleys and gorges of the whole world. But there is something even more amazing about this reading……he was proclaiming The Word of God when Israel was at an all time low! Within their depressed corporate state of mind, this tremendous prophecy looks forward to a time when God will be so involved with his people, that a whole new world order will take place…Growth and Hope, and Peace, will be the result of God’s intervention….and we see this being fulfilled in part by Jesus; continuing to be accomplished in and through His mystical Body, the Church, and fully accomplished when Christ comes to us in Glory.
The Gospel portrays John the Baptiser as the prime mover in calling God’s people to respond to the invitation of Repentance, as a perquisite in filling in the valleys of indifference in our hearts, and the grinding down of the mountains of pride and arrogance which can cause us to have a heart of stone; when all this is happening, the Highway becomes straight! Repentance! What is that all about? Some years back, when I was stationed at St.Joseph’s in Highgate, North London, I would often go to Marble Arch to hear the Speakers, at Speakers Corner, just a stone’s throw from the humble shrine of Tyburn Hill. Knowing me as you do, it was more than listening…I used to like to get involved with question time. One Protestant Preacher was giving a fire and brimstone Sermon on Repentance. He said,” we must Repent or we will be damned.” I don’t know why he was looking at me, and with that he said, “Sir, have you Repented?” I swiftly responded by saying: “Repentance from my understanding is not a once and for all event!”It is an ongoing condition”. Then he said, “Have you Repented?” I said,”Yes, but I need to do more” He then took his eyes off me…..thank goodness….
Repentance, is seeing and living in the world differently. It is like seeing the world as if we were standing on our hands….the world order is different because of the response that we have taken to the invitation to Repent. John the Baptiser is saying exactly that to us! He was looking forward to the time when the Messiah will ask us all to see the world through the Messiah’s eyes, to listen with His ears, and to truly love from the heart with the Cross deeply imbedded in it. Now is the time to get the Family to Parish Reconciliation Services. COME, LORD JESUS!