HOMILY FOR 2ND SUNDAY OF ADVENT – YEAR B (10TH Dec., 2023)
THEME: A new beginning
BY: Fr. Emmanuel Nwokeji.
Is.40:1-5, 9-11; 2Pt.3:8-14; Mtt.1:1-8.
A prophecy was made concerning the present and future situations the people of Israel founded themselves. The ugly condition is about to end and new beginning is about to unravel. Deliverance from captivity and coming of the Lord’s glory. The prophets were addressed, instructing them to emphasize the theme of comfort to the captives in a foreign land; many miles from their home city of Jerusalem. God has a good plans for great blessing to Israel in the future because they are His covenant people, who are not permanently cast away (Rom.11:2).
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There are two moments seen in the first reading. The present and the future. The present is so bad, while the future will be bright and consoling. The captor is still at the present moment and the Messiah will come as an instrument of deliverance for the people. This future moment is needed and longed for. For it to come as present moment, the ugly present moment must past away. Therefore, there must be change. Repentance from evil to good is a sine qua non for the coming of the Messiah and the consoling moment.
The Gospel of Mark points at John the Baptist as the precursor who had been sent to prepare the way of the Messiah. John went about calling the people to remove all obstacle impeding the coming of the Messiah through total repentance from sin to God. John’s ministry is marked with baptism of repentance which is different from ritual baptism. Baptism becomes ritual when repentance is not achieved as result. Repentance is turning away from sin, evil traditions, customs and bad habits to God through righteous living. Genuine repentance is a work of God on human heart. Are we ready to allow God’s work to begin? let us resolve to remain resolute to our baptismal promises.
God works through humble people. John’s ministry is characterized with humility in getting the people ready for the Messiah. He announced, after me comes he who is mightier than l, the throng of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. The most menial task a slave could perform, yet John counted himself as not worthy to do.
Jesus Christ also exercised this humility in his ministry. He took the form of a servant, found in human form and, stoop down before his disciples to wash their feet.
May God grant us the grace to humble ourselves in carrying out our work both in the church and society.
May our daily repentance make us worthy to receive Jesus Christ.
May our preparations for this period brings comfort and consoling moment to us.
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