A Voice Cries in the Wilderness

From the Associate Pastor

This Sunday, December 13, we are celebrating the Third Sunday of Advent; a time of conversion, repentance, and straightening our lives, as this Sunday’s Gospel tells us (St. John 1, 6‐8, 19‐28). The protagonist of this Gospel is John the Baptist; a prophet who is harsh, strong, clear, and speaks directly. He is not wishy‐washy, nor does he beat around the bush; he speaks as the Word of God, the Good News of Our Lord Jesus Christ has to be proclaimed.

Saint John the Baptist perfectly understands his vocation and mission. He clearly says that he is not the Messiah when “the envoys, who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees” asked him. John is the voice that cries out in the desert, “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert: ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” Saint John the Baptist says of himself that he is a witness to the one who comes after him, to whom he is not worthy to untie the straps of his sandals. He is not the light of the world as many thought; he is the herald, he who is laying the groundwork for the Messiah. He baptizes with water for the forgiveness and repentance of sins. Then another will come, says Saint John the Baptist, who will baptize them in the Holy Spirit. Do not “depart from Jerusalem, but…wait for ‘the promise of the Father about which you have heard me speak; for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts of the Apostles 1, 4‐5).

How are we preparing during this season of Advent to receive God, made flesh, in our hearts? Are we straightening our lives, that is, leaving sin aside, and growing in grace and holiness? Like John the Baptist, are we witnesses of the light of Jesus in our lives and in the lives of the people around us? Do we give Jesus the place he deserves, so that He can act and transform our lives? When we preach the Good News of Jesus, do we do it only with words or also with works and deeds? “Actions speak louder than words.”

May this season of Advent be a time of blessings and graces in our lives. May the life of God made flesh affirm our love, faith, and hope in Him. Amen!

With love and respect, your servant, Father Alberto Villafan‐Romero, ofm.

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