Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary and Joseph.
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,
when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea,
and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee,
and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region
of Ituraea and Trachonitis,
and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,
during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,
the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.
John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan,
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
Every valley shall be filled
and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The winding roads shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” LK 3:1-6
Today, in the beginning of the second week in Advent, Luke introduces the “word of God coming to John the son of Zechariah in the desert”. The setting is the leaders of Judea both civil and Jewish who John the Baptist and “the Word made Flesh” were going to go toe to toe with to bring Truth into the world. John the Baptist did not sugarcoat things. He told the truth. This is a valuable lesson for us today especially with young people who are living the theory of relativity. You believe what you want to believe and I will believe what I want to believe. Your truth is yours and mine is mine. Pope Francis says, “Indifference kills” a violation of the 5th commanding during one of his General Audiences on the 10 commandments. Relativity is a disguise for indifference.
There is only one Truth, Jesus Christ, and we will be persecuted for believing it. Jesus does not say, “I will show you a way, or I heard about truth and want to tell you, or here is a life to live. Jesus said to all humanity, “I am the way and the truth[a] and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you know me, then you will also know my Father.[b] From now on you do know him and have seen him.” JN 14:6-7 Those are fighting words today just as much as they were when being proclaimed by John the Baptist, Jesus Himself, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John and Paul in the heart of Roman persecution. Each one went to their death proclaiming Jesus is Lord, the only Truth, the only Way, the only Life.
John the Baptist tells the truth, “all flesh shall see the salvation of God”. God is coming in the flesh. Jesus doesn’t tell the truth, He is the Truth. He will face Pontius Pilate the one who has the power to kill His body. Pontius Pilate will ask the invaluable question, “What is Truth”? While Truth is staring Him in the face. Advent is a time to face the Truth, to gain knowledge of the Truth, to apply the Truth to our sins. Look in the mirror and hold yourself accountable. Go to the deepest darkest places of your soul and face the Truth.
Jesus is the light of the world. When light shines on darkness, it reveals all things, the good and the bad. This is true each day in our life and on Judgment day. The most important Truth John the Baptist gives us is repent and then points to where we can go to be healed, “Behold, the Son of God, behold the one who takes away the sins of the world”. We are reminded that Jesus died of our sins, before we receive Him every Mass with those words.
Not only does the Light shine and reveal the good and the bad, but God’s grace is given to the good and the bad. It doesn’t matter how many times you have offended God, how serious the sin is that offended Him, if you are in the state of grace, and if you are suffering or not. God loves whether He is loved back or not. This is the beauty of God’s grace.
Heaven is not something you earn. Life is not something you worked for to get. We are here and have a chance for heaven because God decided to share His gift of love with us. God even loves those who choose hell. Peter Kreeft says, “Those who choose not to love God back are spiritual garbage, but He still loves them.” God’s grace is not like earning money from a job and buying things to sustain you. God’s grace is a free gift because He loves all of His creation. Be like God today and give without expecting anything in return. Mother Teresa said, “Give until it hurts”. You can’t earn heaven, it’s a free gift. How do you enter? Believe. Respond to the most powerful love in the universe. Imitate it.
Today’s challenge: Tell the Truth even if you will be persecuted for it. Believe. Bring yourself closer to Jesus by visiting Him in the sacraments more faithfully. Dedicate yourself to more prayer especially in silence.
Be a servant, become a saint!