It is 4th December 2016. We enter into the Second Sunday of the Advent. We light a second purple candle to represent the hope of Christ coming to the world. The word “hope” has two meanings in the Bible. The first one is the sense of eager anticipation or waiting and the second is a sense of confident expectation based on certainty. Biblical hope is secured by God’s faithfulness to God’s promises. As that of the leaders of the Old Testament, we too have the hope in the arrival of Messiah. We confidently hoping for the triumphant return of the Messiah. The readings are from Isaiah 11:1-10; and the second reading is from Romans 15:4-9; and the Gospel is from Matthew 3:1-12. The two readings present us with two role models in the name of Isaiah, who preached the Lord’s arrival and inviting us to prepare the way for the Lord’s coming. God’s response to fallen humanity is to send us a new King, the Messiah. The prophet Isaiah promised us a new king who comes from God having the blessings of God with God’s wisdom treat God’s people in justice and peace; it is the end of our exile and misery. God promises justice and peace to God’s people as they proclaim the end of violence. The responsorial Psalm praises, “Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace forever.” (Ps.72:7). In the second reading St. Paul instructs that Jesus is our hope for all people regardless of persons’ ethnic, cultural and racial affiliations. St. Paul invites us to live in peace and harmony. We need to respect one another as Christ did. It is the time to treat the other persons with dignity and love as Christ treated us. In the Gospel, we meet the second role model John the Baptist who preached the baptism of repentance by which he demanded the actions as evidence to our repentance. Our hope must bear fruit in the faith we profess in Jesus. It is time to clean up our lives and prepare the space in our lives for Jesus. We need to repent. To repent is not simply to confess our sins but to acknowledge the situation we are in. It is a confession from the bottom of our being that we are living the spirit of the world and not the Spirit of God in our lives. Let us create room for Jesus by clearing and destroying the unwanted. Have a good day.

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