2nd Sunday Advent

In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." Now John wore a garment of camel's hair, and a leather girdle around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit that befits repentance, and do not presume to say to yourselves, `We have Abraham as our father'; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. "I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the granary, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire." (Mt 3:1-12, RSV)

 

Reflection

We hear the voice in the wilderness telling us to repent and sin no more. Just as St. John the Baptist did at the time before the birth of Christ, he told the people of Judea to prepare for the coming of the Lord, and told the people that he was not worthy to loosen the sandal-straps of He who was to come. Those who were baptized by St. John the Baptist, were told that Jesus who is to come would bring the Holy Spirit. And that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. The Holy Spirit teaches us all we need to know. John also announces that this Jesus isn't interested in slackers and sinners, as in the reference to the Sadducees whom he calls "A brood of Vipers." It is a call for repentance for them, and for all who take their faith with a grain of salt. How many people of today are Sadducees in modern clothing? There is room for improvement for all of us.

 

I pray that you'll be celebrating Advent with your family, by praying with them each Sunday at the Advent Wreath, or at Holy Mass.

 

Fred Schaeffer, OFS
December 3, 2019

 

 

 

A Gift of a New Life
A Biography
by Fred Schaeffer, OFS 2019

Secular Franciscan Order
Ordo Franciscanus Sæcularis

Divine Mercy Fraternity

Vero Beach, FL

 

Term expires: 2/10/2022
 

Minister:
Fred Schaeffer, OFS

Vice-Minister:
Helen Caldarone, OFS

Secretary:
Mary "Jean" McGovern, OFS

Treasurer:
 Jack Reddy, OFS

 

Formation Director: 
Donna Haro, OFS

 

Councillor-at-Large:

 Joanne Giordano, OFS

 

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