Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This is a Sunday of joy and gladness. Advent is about the coming of Jesus as our Savior. When we look at our world today, we see, as in every age, an enormous need for a Savior. There is chaos all around us. Terrorism begins to strike into the very heart of the world, no longer just in far off places. Advent invites us to prepare ourselves and our world for the Savior.

The first reading today is from the Prophet Baruch. This prophet reminds us that God is leading Israel in joy by the light of his glory, with his mercy and justice for company. Probably it is difficult for us to sense this message in our hearts. We are Israel, you and I. God is leading us in joy by the light of His glory. We can only know this by faith in the Lord. We Christians are invited to believe in Jesus and to believe that Jesus has changed the world completely by his Advent, by His coming into the world. Far too often we Christians look at the world as if we had no faith at all. We are convinced that somehow God’s coming into the world has not changed it, even as at the same time, we profess to believe. When there is terrorism, when there is still abject poverty, when people are still dying because no one cares—where is God?


Saint Paul tells us in his Letter to the Philippians today that he is confident of this, that the one who began a good work in us will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. We are invited to live in that same faith, with complete confidence. Sure, it is difficult to believe and even more difficult to believe that somehow God is changing our world for the better when, for all appearances, everything seems to be moving to chaos. We can remember that in Genesis, God created the world out of nothing, out of an original chaos. God is capable of transforming the world immediately and is always working in the very depths of our human reality and of all creation: transforming in His way so that all will reflect His love and mercy.

The Gospel today is from Saint Luke and puts the figure of John the Baptist in front of us. This is another reminder that God is present. You and I are called to be John the Baptist in our world today, announcing that God is present and that God is changing the world to reflect His love. We should be able to proclaim from the depth of our hearts: all flesh shall see the salvation of God. My sister and brothers, we are called to be witnesses that God has touched our lives and has touched our world. Salvation is here in our midst. Let us live in faith and confidence: God will complete His work.

Father Jesus