(Bar 5.1-9; Phil 1.4-6,8-11; Lk 3.1-6)
As a young priest I recall watching the musical Jesus Christ Superstar. I enjoyed it and hoped it might get the message of Jesus to a new generation. Oddly enough the one moment that stays with me even now is John the Baptist booming out the powerful tune, ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord.’
That call to repentance, to listening and responding to God’s invitation to a renewed holiness of life never grows old. Yet in today’s context it is ever more pungent and urgent.
The Covid pandemic and the threat of climate crisis have exposed much selfishness and a ‘me first’ attitude in large parts of our world.
Today’s readings are not about God’s threats, however. They highlight a divine longing and call to bring us back to a place of unity and peace. Baruch’s proclamation of return from exile in Babylon contains the promise “For God will show all the earth your splendour: you will be named forever the peace of justice.” (Bar 5.3-4) John the Baptist builds on that promise, “and all flesh shall see the saving power of God.” (Lk 3.6)
Most surprising though is the joy that shines through the start of Paul’s letter to his beloved community in Philippi. Having made the journey to be one with Christ, he prays that their love may increase ever more and more in knowledge and every kind of perception, so that they may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ. (Phil 1.9-10)
Advent is about conversion of heart but even more about God’s love that is the end point of that journey.
2nd Sunday of Advent year CThis Sunday