Bread in the Wilderness

Father Carl Diederichs

All Saints Catholic Church

Sunday December 7 is the Second Sunday of Advent. Advent is that all too short period in which we prepare for the coming of the Lord into God’s creation, as a baby poor and homeless. The readings are from Isaiah 40: 1-5, 9-11, Second Peter 3: 8-14, and Mark 1: 1-8.

The Isaiah reading is among the most quoted scriptures. And one of the most beautiful as it describes how our God will come to us with words of comfort, tenderness and glad tidings.

A voice cries out to all: “In the desert prepare the way of the Lord! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! And in our Gospel we place these words in the mouth of John the Baptist who is preparing the way for our God, who has come to us as a human being. And he comes to us like a shepherd: “Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom, and leading the little ones with care.”

How are we preparing the way of the Lord? We know we are already the children of God and with our baptismal anointing we have been saved. But, how little do we value that precious gift of being “another Christ” bringing his message of peace and justice to the poor and powerless? Do we give off a certain aura of peace? Do we champion the poor and the powerless like Jesus did? Do we invite into our homes the homeless and hungry? We know that for many, we will be the only Gospel people will read!

The scripture says that God is coming to us, whether we are ready or not. And if we are not ready, that too is a blessing since it is only when God comes and dwells in us that we have any chance of being the hands and feet of Jesus today.

John tells us that he came to baptize in water only, but Jesus will come (has come) and has anointed us with the Holy Spirit to be the walking, talking, loving, caring people that will announce the good news to others by loving words and powerful actions.