Homily for the 2nd Sunday of Advent Year B
Theme: JOHN THE BAPTIST: AN ORDINARY PERSON WITH UNPOPULAR MESSAGE
By: Fr. Gerald M. Musa
Homily for Sunday December 6 2020
Sometimes we think of a prophet as someone who walks angrily on the streets, with a long hair and a big bell warning people to repent. We also think of prophets as people whose work is limited to foretelling the future. These ideas are not totally wrong, but a prophet does more in different ways. The role of a prophet is not only in foretelling the future, but also of reminding people of who they are, where they are coming from as well as one who interprets the signs of the time. In doing so, he enables them to see where they are presently vis-a-vis their final destination.
The Biblical prophets played a vital role in the lives of the people of Israel and all of them had a special mission at different times, just as John the Baptist played a prophetic role in preparing a way of the Lord. John the Baptist had the difficult task of calling the people to repent from their sins. Furthermore, he bluntly told Herod the king that he had done wrong for seizing the wife of his brother. In modern days great people such as Archbishop of El Savador, Oscar Romero played a prophetic role. He challenged the oppressors in his country and was shot dead while celebrating the Holy Mass for his people.
The persecution of John the Baptist is nothing compared to the suffering of Jesus who was rejected by his own people because he was an ordinary person and the son of a carpenter.
Prophetic words do not only come from preachers of the Word, but also from scholars, the media, etc. For example, economists who have critically analysed the root of the problem of recession today, attribute it to bad policies by government, Corona virus pandemic as well as the greed of multinational corporations and financial institutions.
The media sometimes plays a prophetic role in our society when they report matters, which are wrong. And how certain behaviours are dangerous to societal progress. For example one local newspaper focussed on the illegal use and sale of drugs in columns which they captioned “The Drug Scourge.” They explained how addiction to hard drugs, bottles of spirits and pills are destroying young people around us.
The same media draws our attention towards the many problems of indigenous communities: “poverty, unemployment, isolation violence, domestic violence, sexual abuse…” There is no doubt there are people who are making a lot of selfless sacrifice towards creating a just and happy society through their active involvement with marginalised people and their fearlessness in speaking truth to power. You can also a powerful voice in the wilderness whenever you consistently stand up for what is right and true. A voice in the wilderness is not always popular, but powerful.
2nd Sunday of Advent, Year B; Isaiah 40, 1-5.9-11; Psalm 85; 2 Peter 3, 8-14; Mark 1: 1-8.
Rebecca Whittington, “For safety sake, learn the language of this toxic trade” (The Drugs Scourge), The Courier-Mail, Friday, July 3, 2009, p.35 (Several other issues of the courier mail highlight the drug problem).
Editorial, “Don’t turn a deaf ear to our shame,” The Courier-Mail, Thursday, July 2, 2009, p.32.