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ALL FLESH SHALL SEE THE SALVATION OF GOD by Fr. Linh

SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT – YEAR C

GOSPEL READING: LUKE 3:1-6

ALL FLESH SHALL SEE THE SALVATION OF GOD

Rev. Linh N. Nguyen

 

INTRODUCTION:

John the Baptist always appears on the Second and Third Sundays of Advent. When John began preaching in the wilderness, a group of eager listeners gathered around him. The Israelites considered John to be a great prophet. John the Baptist shouted in the wilderness, exhorting the people to turn from their sin to avoid punishment and turn to God to experience his mercy.

 

This is a message for all times and places, but John spoke it with particular urgency: he was preparing the people for the coming Messiah. His ministry was a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy of “a voice of one crying out in the desert” to prepare the coming of the Lord.

 

GOSPEL:

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, …, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas....

 

Luke’s complex historical references to the various rulers and places all serve to anchor the coming of the Messiah firmly in human history (Roman & Palestinian). It is intended to establish the historicity (reality) of Jesus’ life and ministry.

 

The word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.

 

The word of God came to John” means that God gave John his message. And from that point, John brought that message to the people. It marks John as a prophet who was chosen for a special mission.

   

There had not been a prophet in Israel for more than four hundred years. It was widely believed that when the Messiah would come, prophecy would reappear. With the arrival of John, prophecy returned to Israel, and this was a sign to the people.

 

Luke reminds us that John was “son of Zechariah.”  This name brings to mind all the interesting details surrounding John’s birth. Zechariah was made unable to speak because he lacked the faith to believe what God was doing with his life.

 

Luke also notes that John lived “in the desert.”  This is a very significant place. The desert or wilderness is a place of renewal, isolation, preparation and testing.

 

He went throughout the whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

 

The heart of John the Baptist’s message is the need for repentance. In fact, “baptism,” “repentance,” and “forgiveness” go hand in hand. To “repent” means to confess sin and then to turn away from sin and toward God. It means a change of mind and heart or conversion of one’s life.

 

The assumption of John the Baptist is that we all need “continual conversion.” Turning from sin and turning toward God is a process. For John, the ritual of washing in the Jordan symbolized this conversion.

 

A voice of one crying out in the desert: Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.

 

Luke then quotes from Isaiah the prophet because it so perfectly fits John. In ancient times, when a king planned to travel to a remote part of kingdom he frequently sent a “courier” before him to tell the people to prepare the roads. So John the Baptist announces that the King is coming so “prepare the way.” Mend not the roads but your “way of life” so that Christ can come to you.       

 

Consider the beautiful images from Isaiah, which concludes our Gospel today...

Every valley shall be filled 

            What is missing in my life?  Take care of it.

Every mountain and hill shall be made low

            What obstacle is standing between God, someone and me?  Remove it.

The winding roads shall be made straight

            What is crooked, out of order in my life?  Straighten it out.

And the rough ways made smooth 

            What is going rough in my life?  Smooth it out, for God to come to me.

“And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

It is God who brings order to the chaos, and salvation to the lost.

 

CONCLUSION:

Some people wanted to be baptized by John so they could escape eternal punishment, but they did not turn to God for salvation. John had harsh words for such people. He knew that God values sincere conversion above ritual. The second week of Advent encourages us to go to confession, to amend our life, and to get ready to welcome the Messiah.   

 


This article was published on Thursday 03 December, 2009.

Back to main topic: STUDY THE WORD OF GOD
ADULTERY
THIS POOR WIDOW PUT IN MORE THAN ALL THE OTHERS
CHRIST WILL RETURN WITH GREAT POWER AND GLORY
YOU SAY I AM A KING
BASILICAS OF ST. PETER & ST. PAUL
THE KINGSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST
CHRISTMAS
YOUR REDEMPTION IS AT HAND
GOD’S PROMISES IN ADVENT
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC UNDERSTANDING OF ECUMENISM
WE NEED ADVENT!
WE SAW HIS STAR AT ITS RISING AND HAVE COME TO DO HIM HOMAGE
EMMANUEL – GOD IS WITH US!
THE BLIND BOY AND HIS SIGN
EPIPHANY
WHEN JESUS HAD BEEN BAPTIZED AND WAS PRAYING, HEAVEN WAS OPENED
“WHAT SHOULD WE DO?”
GOD KNEW ME BEFORE I WAS BORN
GOD IS LOVE
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE VIRGIN MARY
“THE MOTHER OF MY LORD SHOULD COME TO ME.”
THE LAST EIGHT DAYS IN THE ADVENT SEASON
HIS PARENTS FOUND JESUS SITTING IN THE MIDST OF THE TEACHERS.
MARY – “MOTHER OF GOD”
WHETHER THE BLESSED VIRGIN SHOULD BE CALLED THE MOTHER OF GOD?
THE BAPTISM OF JESUS
WHETHER THE BAPTISM OF JOHN WAS FROM GOD
WHETHER IT WAS FITTING FOR CHRIST TO BE BAPTIZED WITH JOHN’S BAP
JESUS TURNS WATER TO WINE

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