2nd Week of Advent, Thursday, Dec 10

Isaiah 41:13-20 / Matthew 11:11-15

 I am the Lord your God: I will turn deserts into marshes. 

Before child labor laws were enacted, a ten-year-old boy was working in a factory in Naples, Italy. He wanted to earn money for music lessons. After singing for a schoolteacher, however, he was told to save his time and money. “Forget about singing,” the teacher said;

“you have no talent.” The boy’s mother, a poor peasant woman, encouraged her son in the face of the rebuff. She even went barefooted to help save money for his lessons. Her efforts paid off, and her son, Enrico Caruso, became one of the world’s greatest tenors. Faith and perseverance are gifts through which God helps us turn “deserts into marshes.”


It is heartening to hear these days a strong and repeated message of encouragement. This is what we believe in if we trust in the nearness of God in his Son Jesus Christ. When people are poor and afflicted, God is near as their Savior, that is, one who is bound to them with close bonds and who is bound to come to their assistance. The poor are those who trust in him. He promises them a new paradise. Even the least in his kingdom are greater than the greatest and last of the prophets, John the Baptist. 


How supportive are we of other people, especially young people? “The stone which the builders rejected as worthless turned out to be the most important of all.” Psalm 118:22


Life can be very much easier and comfortable when we have someone around to help us and guide us. One good example is when we have to go to a foreign place for a meeting or for business. It would be very much easier and enjoyable if we have someone to receive us at the airport and show us the way. Then we would be able to enjoy the sights and the scenery without having the anxiety and the fear of the unknown.


In this season of Advent, there is someone who is ever willing to help us in our Advent journey towards Christmas. John the Baptist is our Advent guide and he shows us the way and the preparations that we need to do. His message is clear and simple - repentance and the conversion of heart.

We must remember that it is God who sent John the Baptist to be our Advent guide as we journey in faith towards Jesus. Even Jesus, in the gospel, would exalt John the Baptist and affirm that John was the one sent by God to turn the hearts of the people back to God. So, in our prayer, let us also ask John the Baptist to pray for us so that we can journey deeper into the heart of Jesus and in turn lead others to experience Jesus at Christmas.


Let us Pray: Lord our God, you do not abandon those who rely on you. Take us by the hand when we are afraid, help us when we call out to you, for we experience that we are powerless to establish your kingdom of justice and love.  Send your Son again among us today to be our Lord and Savior now and forever.