Why Is Jesus Christ Coming?
Readings: (1st: Is 40, 1-5.9-11: Ps 84, 9-14; 2nd: 2 Pt 3, 8-14; Gos: Mk 1, 1-8)
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
On this second week of Advent, we continue to prepare for the Lord’s coming. Today, the church calls us to reflect on the good news of this season. Thus, we are to reflect on the reason of Christ’s coming, and on what we are expected to do this season.
Today, our readings focus on the nearness of the Lord’s coming and the need for repentance for the forgiveness of sins. So, one very important question today is, why is Christ coming? He is coming because he loves us. He is coming to save us. He is coming to make all things new. He has a mission, and that mission is for us, and for our salvation.
In our first reading, Isaiah implores us to: “prepare a way for the Lord… Here is the Lord, coming with power…” Today he sounds very optimistic. Last week, he made a petition, asking God to “tear down the heaven and come down.” His prayer of hope is already bearing fruits soon. So, God says this week, “console my people, console them…”
Like Isaiah, we too must progress in our journey this Advent. Isaiah’s prophecy today is a great hope booster. That is, that our salvation is close at hand. So, let us continue to wait for the Lord’s coming. However, it is not yet over. The fulfillment of this hope still lies ahead. So, rather than relax, we must heed his call, “prepare a way for the Lord…”
In the second reading, Peter assures us that Christ will certainly come. Once again, like the Prophet Isaiah, he gives a boost to our hope. He encourages us not to lose hope in the prophetic promises of the coming of the Messiah. Today, Peter makes the following very important points. The first is about the “The Day of the Lord.” He reminds us that it will come like a thief. Therefore, this is a season to be alert and vigilant.
Second, Peter reminds us that our “long time” is nothing, compared to God’s time. Hence, there is a difference between God’s time and ours. Our human time is “Chronos.” That is, the sequential time. While God’s reckoning of time is “Kairos” That is, a special moment that seems almost timeless or ageless. Hence, we say: “God’s time is the best time!”
In today’s gospel, like Isaiah, John the Baptist brings us the good news about the Lord’s imminent coming. He makes two explicit calls to us. The first is, a call to repent for the forgiveness of our sins. Advent is the time to reconcile with God whom we have severally offended through our words and actions.
Repentance and reconciliation are very important conditions for us to welcome Christ worthily. This is what the prophets (Isaiah and John the Baptist), and the Apostle Peter mean by, “preparing a way for the Lord” and “living holy and saintly lives.” If we repent sincerely this season, then the salvation that Jesus brings will be ours. If we clean up ourselves properly, we need not be afraid of the Day of the Lord.
Finally, anticipation of the Lord’s coming should not merely determine our manner of lives. Rather, it should motivate us to repentance, holiness of life, godliness, and of course, joyfulness. Therefore, as we continue to wait and prepare, let us humbly pray with the psalmist: “O Lord, let us see your mercy, and give us your saving help.”
Peace be with You!