2ND SUNDAY OF ADVENT (C)
"Across the desert, a voice cries out: prepare the way of the Lord, make his way straight ...!"
This Word of the Gospel evokes John the Baptist, the forerunner, who had retired into the desert; and that's where people came to see him for a baptism of conversion. It is from the desert, far from the noise of the city, that John the Baptist exhorts people to convert, to prepare for the coming of the Savior.
"Across the desert a voice cries out!"
This word can also be understood differently. We know the expression: to cry in the desert or to speak in the desert. It's "talking" without being heard ... so you can always shout. It makes you wonder sometimes if this interpretation does not correspond better to the fate that is done to the Word of God today.
The Word of God, the Word of the Church, is often lost among the noise of the world. We are so saturated with information, with advertising slogans, drowned in such an avalanche of words and images that we only listen in a distracted way.
During this advent season, will we be paying attention to the Word of God? But to hear it, perhaps, you have to go to the desert? Perhaps it is necessary to take a step back to hear God's cry of love for men? God does not come in noise. It is like the blast of a light breeze, the Bible tells us. He does not use advertising arguments to make himself known or heard. He does not seek the sensational.
But from the dawn of salvation, God wanted to make himself known differently, he wanted his cry of love to take flesh in a people, in the existence of the prophets, then in the cry of a child who has just been born. and in that of a condemned man on the cross.
The words, the words fly away, if they do not take shape in the life of a man, a woman, a child. The word of God is of course a matter of trying to understand it well, to assimilate it well; it is above all a matter of letting it work for us, inhabit us, letting it take shape in us and transform us. For that it is advisable to frequent it, it must be familiar to us.
This is what is experienced by people who attend Bible groups or prayer groups and also people in teams who reread their lives in the light of the Word of God ... and of course all those who welcome on Sundays. the Word of God, nourish and live by it.
More than words or speeches, the testimony of a given life is always respectable and can touch the heart of man. By exhorting us to prepare the way of the Lord, John the Baptist invites us to make of our whole life a cry of hope. Only those who fully live the gift of themselves can be heard by our contemporaries.
Today God continues to speak, to shout his love through our daily gestures which say: "God is coming".
Thus the hidden life of a monk, the unreserved gift of all those devoting their lives to fighting against poverty, the example of all those who act so that every man has the right to eat, to work, to make his voice heard. voice ... so that every man is respected in his dignity.
I am thinking of the volunteers of Secours Catholique and those of other associations who put all their heart and energy into supporting people in difficulty.
I think of all those who give of their time in the service of others. And also on this day of solidarity with the Telethon all those who show generosity and sharing.
I also think of all the peacemakers who sometimes work in the shadows to silence the guns or to build bridges between cultures and races ...
Yes all these people and all those who, in anonymity, quite simply try to love concretely, all these people prepare the way of the Lord, the road of the love which saves the man.
Whenever love takes flesh in one of us, her life speaks, she says: "God is coming", "God is there".
Let us be convinced that only a life inhabited by love is capable of preparing the way to God in our arid lands. Only love lived on a daily basis can lower the mountains of indifference, fill the ditches of contempt and the ravines of hatred and make their way through the maze of tortuous thoughts of men ...
So, if this is so, let us prepare the way of the Lord and every man will see the salvation of God.