Gospel Reflection for the 2nd Sunday of Advent Year B – December 10th 2017
There are long haul and short haul flights. You prepare more for the long haul, you break your journey, you put up with discomfort for a longer time, and you might say that John the Baptist is a long haul figure. He had spent a long time searching for the way of faith, for the One to come, and for himself. It had brought him into many groups of religious people at home and in the desert. He didn’t give up. He followed his inner voice and convictions to death.
Long haul is concerned with the long term. If anything is to last, we are in it for a long time. Marriage, good friendships, religious life, care for the neighbour, faith. Take homelessness: is there not a danger that every December there is a huge outcry about it, and then it lags till next year? To follow the Lord in his care for the homeless is long term. It comes not from political will, nor economics, nor any self-seeking but from the fact that the family in one room in a hotel or a hub or on the street are our brothers and sisters – no matter what country they are from.
The long haul often means a change of plan for our lives. We’ll be brought a way we don’t know or have to transfer where we don’t want to. John invites a change in our lives – to give up what is wrong and do what is right and best, all the time focusing on the One to come. Advent is a time of committing ourselves to the joyful lifetime of service with the Lord.
As you hear the songs and see the reindeer and all the rest of Christmas preparations, say something like ‘My soul glorifies the Lord’.
Lord, may I bring you to those who need you most.
Donal Neary SJ
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Fr Donal Neary SJ is editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger
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