Second Sunday of Advent

To live as converted people

In those days John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea  (and) saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: “A voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.'” John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey…. the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.  When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees  coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ ….I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire.” Mt 3,1-12

By some day the turtle decided to go out by night time. “ Where are you going – the toad said to her – How are you able to see where you walk?” The turtle went out anyhow and in fact she stumbled and overturned. “ I told you! –again the toad said to her – and now how can you manage to live being overturned?” “I do not know – the turtle answered being happy – but now I can see the stars!” This is the meaning of the conversion: to live on the contrary versus the way the world lives to contemplate the starry sky. The conversion of which John the Baptist speaks today is different from the conversion to which Jesus makes reference. He requires to accept him as the Lord of the life, meanwhile John  speaks of the prerequisite to be able to accept him: to make straight our tortuous paths. John, in addition, by his frankness and essential way of living, teaches what it does mean to make straight to tortuous paths to be free to receive the message of the Gospel. It is difficult, as of today, to be frank, because the communication is used more to hide than to communicate the truth. This not always happens because our thoughts are not presentable: often we are not frank because of shyness, because of false modesty, for lack of confidence or because of excessive trust of the opinion of the others. It is difficult to be essential, because the simple way of living which is offered today by the Baptist is in conflict with the offers of the market, which tends to create new needs, which later have to be satisfied. The frankness in speaking and the simple way of living , opposite to the world, represent the first fruits of the conversion, otherwise we risk to end up as that fig tree of the Gospel which, being not able to give fruits, dried up. It is better to do as the turtle: to go out by night time and to live on the contrary to contemplate the stars.

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