Joyfully, Let Us Prepare For The Day Of The Lord
Readings: 1st: Br 5, 1-9; Ps 125; 2nd: Phil 1,3-6.8-11; Gos Lc 3, 1-6
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 Dioceses 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, the church invites us to celebrate the marvels that God is about to work for us in a couple of weeks from now. This season, we wait in joyful hope for the “Day of the Lord” when this marvel will be complete for, and in us.
All the readings of this Sunday are wake up calls for us to prepare to receive the Lord who is coming soon. While our first reading announces that God is ready to display the splendor of the Messiah to all nations, the second reading reminds us of “The Lord’s Day.”
Obviously, this is the fulfillment of God’s promise for our salvation. This wake-up call is summed up in today’s gospel where Luke the evangelist reminds us of what we must actually do through the voice of prophet Isaiah.
Christ is coming in his glory and splendor. However, His coming will be of no use to us unless we receive him, and share in the joy that he will bring. Hence, the first reading of today exalts us: “…take off your dress of sorrow and distress, and put on the beauty of the glory of God forever….” This is truly so because, God is about to do great things for us. Very soon, we shall joyfully welcome the Lord.
In the second reading, Paul acknowledged the fact that his audience have started well. However, they are still far from the end of their destination. So, he encourages us to remain steadfast in good works, and to continue to improve in it until “the Day of the Lord.” This Advent, “the Day of the Lord” is our destination. It is, the fulfillment of our desire to receive Christ, and to share in the joy that He brings to our world.
So, for us to welcome Christ, and share in the joy that he brings, we must be ready to make some sacrifices. This, demands preparing and purifying ourselves through prayer, charity and reconciliation. Hence, as Paul puts it, this will help us to become “pure and blameless for the day of Christ” (Phil 1:8).
In today’s gospel, Luke captured and recalled the world’s political and historical situation at the birth of the Messiah. Indeed, it was a time of excessive political and religious instability. The kings and rulers of the Roman empire were completely and recklessly in charge of the world.
However, it was time for change. The King of king is on His way. Thus, it was in this context that Luke echoes the prophesy of Isaiah: “Prepare a way for the Lord [the true and just King], make his path straight. Let every valley be filled, and every mountain and hill be leveled…” (Is 40:4). The message is quite simple and clear.
So, we have to remove whatever will constitute an obstacle to receiving Christ at the end of this season. In other words, something must be sacrificed this season for Christ to have his place in us. For us to experience the joy, glory and splendor of His coming, we have to be prepared to receive him.
Finally, as Paul prayed for us in the second reading: May our love increase ever more and more in knowledge, and every kind of perception, so that we may be able to discern what is of value this season. So that, filled with the fruit of righteousness, we may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ. With the psalmist, proclaim: “The Lord has done great things for us, indeed we are glad” (Ps. 125, 3).
Peace be with you.