Thursday, December 2, 2010

Turn, turn, turn

Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010
Second Sunday of Advent—A

Isaiah 11:1-10
Romans 15:4-9
Matthew 3:1-12

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” declares John the Baptist in today’s Gospel. He then goes on to say, “Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance.”

This is really the heart of God’s everlasting message to us: Turn to the Word made flesh, the person of Jesus Christ. Too often, it seems, we limit Christianity by associating it too closely with our own social and political agendas. It becomes what we do rather than who we are.

First, though, we are called to repent—or turn—to the “kingdom of heaven” (the term used by the ancient Israelites to avoid mentioning the unutterable name of God). This means committing oneself to conversion of heart. Then, the Baptist says, we must produce good fruit as outward evidence of our inward turning or conversion. This is discipleship, and it renders us capable of genuinely welcoming one another as Christ welcomes each one of us. As St. Cyprian has written, “The kingdom of God means Christ himself.”

This Advent, let us turn to Christ, the Word made flesh who dwells among us so that His bud may blossom within us, producing fruit that fills the earth with knowledge of the Lord, as water covers the sea.

Then justice and peace shall flower for ever.

No comments: