Today’s readings all give us encouraging words to remind us of what God has in store for us in the future. These readings also encourage us to work harder on our spiritual lives to attain that glory set apart for us by changing our lives. In the first reading Baruch 5:1-9, Prophet Baruch tells the Israelites to take off their robes of mourning and misery and put on the splendor of glory from God forever because God will show all the earth their splendor. Saint Paul in our second reading in his letter to the Philippians 1:4-6, 8-11 re-echoes the same sentiments of love by thanking all who helped him in his work and inviting them to prepare for the great day to attain God’s glory so that they may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.
Saint John the Baptist is in the gospel reading from the gospel of Saint Luke proclaims a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, calling on the Israelites to repent and prepare for the coming of Christ and their salvation. All these readings are very encouraging yet they emphasize the importance of change in our spiritual lives so as to be better disciples of Christ while pointing to the good things that will come our way in the future. So are you ready to change your life to be a better Christian?
What can you do to change your life for God and for good? How are we preparing for the coming of Christ this Christmas season? We all know how to prepare for Christmas physically as we have already started or are even done with our Christmas shopping, gift buying, decorations, sending out Christmas cards and wishes etc. But do we know how to prepare ourselves spiritually for the coming of Christ this Christmas season? Saint John the Baptist shows us the best practices to help us prepare for the coming of Christ this Christmas season. These practices are Repentance, Humility and Witnessing to Christ in our world today.
Repentance here entails examining our consciences to find out how we have offended God and the obstacles that make it impossible for us to live out our faith as disciples of Christ. Then being contrite for our sins and confessing those sins in the Sacrament of Reconciliation so as to receive pardon for them and absolution from the priest. St. John the Baptist also shows us through his life the importance of the virtue of Humility as he always pointed to Jesus in everything he did or preached. Humility is very essential in our preparation for the coming of Christ this Christmas season, so let us make it about Him and not the worldly practices that we are used to.
Also, St. John the Baptist emphasizes through his lifestyle and actions that witnessing to Christ in our world today is of utmost importance in our preparation to welcome Him into our lives and our world this Christmas season. So as we prepare to welcome the baby Jesus on Christmas Day, let us bear witness to Him in our thoughts, words and actions by being His true and faithful disciples in our world today.
My brothers and sisters, it is time to prepare to welcome Jesus into our lives and world this Christmas season by paying attention to teachings of St. John the Baptist and by following his examples. Let us repent from our sins, be humble like St. John the Baptist was and bear witness to Christ in the world today like he did in his time. Amen!