Gospel Reflections

2nd Sunday of Advent

Matthew 3:1-12

Sunday Gospel Reflection by Sister Marilyn Pechillo

Published: December 08, 2019

Read Matthew 3:1-12

John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” It was of him... Read More…


Today’s gospel does not directly include Jesus’ teaching or healing.  Instead, John the Baptist exhorts us to prepare the way of the Lord, a fitting message as we begin our liturgical preparation for Christmas.  Neither John’s diet nor his message appeals to me.  Frankly, I do not like locusts and wild honey, nor do I relish John’s call to repentance.  Actually, I prefer a more comfortable gospel message.  

This Advent, however, calls me to step out of my comfort zone and to live the gospel.  Biblical scholars tell us that the word “repent” translates the Greek word, “metanoia,” which calls for a change of mind and heart. Changing my set ways of thinking and judging calls for a real conversion.  I need to look differently at everyday situations and my staunchly held opinions.  What would happen if I truly listened to someone whose views differ from mine or who simply rubs me the wrong way?  When someone seems rough or inconsiderate, could I move from judging the person harshly to realizing the many factors that play into that response?  In other words, this Advent can I change my mind and heart?  Jesus did.  He took on our humanity to save us.  “Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness, and found human in appearance (Philippians 2: 6--7 USCCB).” Can I open myself to a greater care of others and of our earth?  Can I welcome the stranger and reach out to someone who looks different from me?  If I do these things, maybe I can skip the locusts and wild honey.  If I change my mind and heart maybe I can truly welcome Christ this Christmas.

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