Second Sunday of Advent
The spirit of the Advent
In the fifteenth year of the empire of Cesar Tiberius, while Pontious Pilate was the governor of the Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee and Philip, his brother, tetrarch of the Iturea and of the Traconitides and Lisania tetrarch of Abiline, under the supreme priests Anna and Caifa, the word of Good was raised up by John, son of Zachariah, in the desert. He went along the entire region of the Jordan, proclaiming the baptism of conversion for the forgiveness of the sins, as it is written in the book of the oracles of the prophet Isaiah: voice of one who shouts in the desert: You have to prepare the way of the lord, make straight his paths! Each ravine will be filled in, each mountain and each hill will be lowered: the tortuous ways will become straight and the difficult ones will become accessible. Each man will see the salvation of Good! Lk 3,1-6
We are by the beginning of the Advent, John the Baptist, who is the last announcer of the coming of the Messiah in the history of the salvation, today reveals us that he has already arrived and that he is knocking to our door: we have only to let him to enter: Jesus Christ is the “expected“ since always, preannounced by the prophets of the Ancient Testament. What we have to do is to prepare ourselves to receive him, restoring a little in order our life, as it is usual when an illustrious guest arrives to our house: “ You have to prepare the way of the Lord, let’s make straight his paths”. Our opening assumes, then, the concrete form of this existential reordering, restoring in the right way what has been twisted, deviated, dirty and not presentable in the liturgical year recently elapsed. We have to do it to welcome our salvation, because the message of salvation is the Lord himself. He is the announcement that God wants to save us: by his arrival the mercy is offered to the sinners, the hope is donate to the dispersed people, the meaning of the life and of the history is revealed to the doubtful people and the right way is indicated to the ones who have lost their road. The today passage of Luke has, really, the purpose of preparing ourselves to welcome, as Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, who in the next pages will become the absolute protagonist of the gospel. The invitation to follow the Lord emerges, since today, as it happened to the first disciples: because – as John the Baptist announces – he is close to our door, our salvation becomes a real fact and it gets shape by preparing us to receive him and to open that door, as our condemnation would be originated by our indifference. However, to prepare ourselves to receive that long message of liberation which will be with us all along the liturgical year, we have to prepare our heart to the listening, reproducing the same climate of joyous waiting and of love of the spouse who is waiting her beloved in The Song of Songs: “Hark! my lover-here he comes springing across the mountains, leaping across the hills. My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag. Here he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, peering through the lattices” (Sg 2,8-9). And the bridegroom, who is happily waiting out of the door, answers: “Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come! “For see, the winter is past, the rains are over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of pruning the vines has come, and the song of the dove is heard in our land” (Sg 2,10-12). As the exhortation of this bridegroom to change the life is the answer to the trembling waiting of the spouse, so the Lord will change our existence to the extent we will wait and receive it with joy. This feeling remembers me the sensation of Anna Maria when, a lot of years ago, I entered in her life. I had the feeling to have been waited since she was a young lady. Consequently, in this spirit of welcome of the Lord to start again with renewed strength to follow him, let’s make returning also the song of this our morning prayer, which in the recent time has been somewhat weakened.
Give us, Lord, a new song!