HIS WORDâ€¦The Word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert. The words of the prophet Isaiah were quoted:Â Â A VOICE OF ONE CRYING OUT IN THE DESERT: â€œPREPARE THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE STRAIGHT HIS PATHS. EVERY VALLEY SHALL BE FILLED AND EVERY MOUNTAIN AND HILL SHALL BE MADE LOW. THE WINDING ROADS SHALL BE MADE STRAIGHT, AND THE ROUGH WAYS MADE SMOOTH, AND ALL FLESH SHALL SEE THE SALVATION OF GODâ€ (Is 40:3-5).
my wordsâ€¦ We are now on the Second Sunday of Advent and we are lighting the 2nd Candle of the Advent Wreath signifying that Jesus is so near to us. The main Biblical figure appearing in todayâ€™s gospel is JOHN THE BAPTIST, the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth in their old age.
On December 24, we will listen to the gospel of Luke on the prophecy of Zechariah in a song or canticle displaying the â€œhoroscopeâ€ or future mission of his son John. By way of tradition, John would have been a priest to succeed the role of his father Zechariah in the services of the temple. But by way of prophetic pronouncement, John has to become a prophet for a special mission. And the special mission is emitted by the then mute Zechariah when he opened his mouth for the first time after being silenced for 9 months and said, â€œYou, my child, shall be called the PROPHET of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way, to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sinsâ€ (Lk 1:77-78). And because of this, John, though son of a priest is not trained for the priestly ministry in the Jerusalem Temple. He grows up in the desert, distancing himself from the luxury in which Jerusalem priestly aristocracy lives. By his attire, diet, and preaching, John presents himself more as a prophet than a priest. He shows himself as the embodiment of the fiery prophet Elijah (Fr. Gil A. Alinsangan, SSP. 365 Days with the Lord 2015, December 6 Sunday Reflection). John therefore is the voice in the wilderness announcing the coming of Jesus, the Savior of the whole wide world!
Brothers and Sisters, the best way to prepare for Christmas is to heed the announcement of John in the desert, â€œto prepare the way of the Lordâ€ (Lk 3:4) by way of repentance and forgiveness. This is the reason why during this Advent season, parishes have â€œKumpisalan ng Bayanâ€ to prepare us spiritually for the birthday of our Lord Jesus Christ. And for us Filipinos, this is also the best way to prepare for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) to be held in Cebu on January 24 to 31, 2016. It is a grand gathering of nations to acknowledge and feel the holy presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. With the theme: â€œChrist in You, Our Hope and Gloryâ€ all peoples are asked to proclaim the Eucharistic Jesus as the central point of salvation history and also as the center of our Christian lives.
Brethren, the Holy Eucharist is the highest form of all prayers, may we prepare for it every day as we prepare also for His return in glory.
MAY THE EUCHARISTIC KING REIGN IN OUR HEARTS AND IN THE WHOLE WORLD!!! (Fr. Julius C. Lupot)