• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

Friday, 04 December 2020 17:25

Second Sunday of Advent - 2020

Written by Fr Elmer Ibarra SVD

 

Second Sunday of Advent

Mark 1:1-8

Fr Elmer Ibarra 150 Best“Look, I am going to send my messenger before you; he will prepare your way.” This gospel passage reminds me of the road from Alice Springs to Santa Teresa, which is a remote Aboriginal community where I’m assigned at the moment. Most of the time, the gravel road going there is just hopeless. I mean, the road is just so bad that if you’re not careful and are driving too fast, you’ll find yourself at the side of the road pretty fast. However, sometimes a grader will come and pave the road to make it more bearable. So this grader reminds me of the main character of the gospel passage for this weekend.

The main character of today’s gospel is John the Baptist. Today we hear the beginning of the gospel of Mark. Many Bible scholars believe that the gospel of St Mark was the first gospel, despite it being placed second in the order of books in the New Testament. St Mark was believed to be the young secretary of St Peter who most probably is the source of his gospel material. The gospel was made for a largely Gentile community and also it was written when the emperor Nero was persecuting the early Church. So this characterised Mark’s gospel, presenting to us Jesus as a person who is on the go and proclaiming the Kingdom of God wherever he goes. And being the first gospel written we can also see an “unadulterated” Jesus in the sense that we see Jesus as a very human person that is full of emotion.

With this background, the gospel started with a very important person of the New Testament in John the Baptist. He is the person who represented the last of the prophets who foretold the coming of the Messiah. And it was his job to prepare for the coming of the Lord. He did this by living a very ascetic life. His clothes were made of camel’s hair, he ate locusts and honey and he lived in the wilderness. He lived a very similar life to one of the greatest prophets of the Old Testament, the prophet Elijah. And he preached a gospel of repentance to prepare for the coming of the Messiah and part of his preaching is an invitation for people to be baptised. Not the baptism that we know but a baptism of repentance. First, the person was to make a public confession of his/her sins, then a promise to live a new life then John the Baptist would immerse the person in the River Jordan and they would come up as a new person. This is how John prepared the coming of the Lord.

With this, John the Baptist’s reputation was steadily growing among the surrounding places, which led many people to think that he was the Messiah that the people had been waiting for. With this development, John pointed out that there was somebody who was greater than he who would be coming, whose sandal straps he was not worthy to untie. In the Jewish law and culture, untying one’s sandals was a preparation for foot washing. And foot washing was so humiliating that it was only allowed by law to be performed by a foreign slave. And yet for John the Baptist, even this very lowly and degrading gesture was not low enough for him to do for the Saviour.

For us, this season is a season for preparation. How much preparation have we done? As we enter this month of December, a lot of us have bought presents for our friends and loved ones, a lot of us have prepared plans about whom to visit this Christmas, a lot of us may have started buying food to cook on Christmas, but have we prepared our spirit for the reason for the season, and that is the coming of Jesus this Christmas day. Hopefully, we also have prepared internally for this very joyous day. For when the time Jesus comes a second time or when it is our turn to meet our Creator, he would find us ready.

Last modified on Friday, 04 December 2020 17:47