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Reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent

Eleanor McCloskey, CND

Isaiah 40.1-5, 9-11/2 Peter 3.8-14/ Mark 1.1-8

In this season, we are preparing. Traditionally, we may be decorating our homes, baking special foods, planning celebrations, enjoying seasonal music, buying or making gifts, and taking part in special events that benefit groups and persons in need.  Maybe we still send Christmas cards to stay connected. We tend to do things we always did. We slide into our comfort zone. We ask one another, “Are you ready for Christmas?”  

Today, in our Sunday liturgy, we are met with John the Baptist’s assertion that he has come to help prepare - prepare the way of the Lord.  And that calls for change. “Repent,” John says.  Look around.  Turn around. 

John appeared “in the wilderness.”  And “people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him.”  One translation says, “People thronged to him.”

We may wonder: What was it about John that attracted all these followers?  What was there about him that was compelling?  What was there in his message or his presentation that drew crowds?  Were they looking for something that would change their life?  His dress was different.  His diet seems a bit different.  His message was different. Would we be among the many who came out to hear a different message? From someone who looks and sounds different? Are we open to “new” and “different”?  

In 2017, in my quiet waiting, what message do I get from the wilderness?  This Christmas, how shall I prepare both my house and my heart?  

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