In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judaea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the lands of Ituraea and Trachonitis, Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the pontificate of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah, in the wilderness. He went through the whole Jordan district proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the sayings of the prophet Isaiah:
A voice cries in the wilderness;
Prepare a way for the Lord,
make his paths straight.
Every valley will be filled in,
every mountain and hill be laid low,
winding ways will be straightened
and rough roads made smooth.
And all mankind shall see the salvation of God.
Advent is not only a time of preparation for the Nativity of our Lord celebrated in the great feast of Christmas, it is also a timely reminder of the Lord’s Second Coming, and our own impending judgement.
As with his disciples, Jesus warns us ‘be on your guard, stay awake, because you never know when the time will come.’ We must be prepared therefore to be judged at any time. To this end we must always live in accordance with his teachings, especially to love God and our neighbour.
Advent is a time of new beginnings and provides us with an ideal opportunity for seeking personal renewal. We should never defer until tomorrow what we can do today. Rather, we should seek to reconcile ourselves with others, to heal broken relationships and to be people of helping hands and loving hearts.
Advent therefore is not just a time of preparing but also one of doing. True Christian discipleship is faith and love in action.
Director: Religious Education and Evangelisation