MEDITATION: The Gospel for this second Sunday of Advent shows us the Advent of St. John the Baptist whose Advent is for repentance and acknowledgement of sins. We are told that St. John preaches in the desert where God and Satan meet. Here in the desert, a person meets God as his strength and life alone where this person’s life is solidly relying on God alone. Here in this same desert, Satan meets God and the person of God so that this person must be tested if he is really a repentant sinner and will solely be with God fighting Satan. This is the same condition of the people who meet St. John to receive the baptism of repentance. But the story I gave above for similarity is different from the story of the Pharisees and Sadducees. They came for St. John to be baptized but St. John exorcises the hidden devil in them and to bring this hidden evilness of them in the open. These Pharisees and Sadducees according to St. John, were a family of vipers or relatives of snakes for in their evilness and sins they made themselves children of Satan the serpent and brethrens of demons the snakes; they also poisons the people with their respective venoms of zealousness for traditions that were not of God; negligence, ineptness, and incompetence in working in God’s vineyard; making philosophy greater than or above theology; giving too much importance to external holiness rather than interior holiness which must be the first one to be corrected and checked always; being devoted to the law of God but losing faith in God making themselves hypocrites, being experts to the law, becoming experts on misinterpreting the law or selecting and/or rejecting legal traditions or laws that suit their tastes or freethinkers in matters of religion without having interior holiness above all else. These Pharisees, Sadducees, and the scribes are our Church authorities and governments today and I pray you understand why I said that they are those people of today.
The Pharisees and Sadducees came to St. John but not because they are repentant sinners but because of their arrogance and again, their faithful observance of external holiness or external acts of holiness. That is why St. John exhorts them t produce good fruit that will become evidence of their repentance. Which must be really hard for St. John requires them to produce good fruits as evidence that they were truly repentant sinners and they must show that really, they are turning themselves away from sin and making resolve to reform their lives before acknowledging them before all that they are repentant sinners and worthy to be baptized by water of repentance. That is why we must show our repentance by not sinning again and again and making resolve to reform our lives from being a sinner of evilness to being a sinner yet in holiness and perfection; and not by false acknowledgement of our constant sins because of sinning constantly and going constantly to the Sacrament of Confession, confessing the same old sins again and again. Our good fruit we produce must be rooted on the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
These family of vipers in the Gospel and of today must not presume that they have Abraham as their father by blood, or by law, or by promise of God to Abraham and to his descendants as their arrogant claim without understand that if they are really the descendants of Abraham, they must be children of him not just by blood but also of Spirit and the seven gifts of the Spirit that was read in our first reading for today (Isaiah 11:2-3), and also of faith and holiness. In this regard, because of their sins and evilness, their father is Satan and not Abraham. That’s why even God can raise descendants of Abraham out of stones. Then what more are the Gentiles who are not Jews like them and are much greater than stones? Will God not raise descendants from the Gentiles? Of course God will raise descendants out of them!
Every person will wait for judgement or even condemnation that lies in our bases as beings and if we do not bear good fruits we will be uprooted and be thrown into the hellfire. St. John the Baptist baptizes water for repentance but Jesus Christ will baptize by the Holy Spirit and fire that brings forgiveness of sins to the sins we have repented and burns the original sin we have in us, and purifies us to enjoy forgiveness and salvation of God. Jesus Christ is having the judgement in His hand. He will gather the righteous ones into His barn but the deadwood will be burned into the hellfire.
So in this season of Advent of our Lord and even every moment of our lives where He Advents for us, let us prepare the way of the Lord in us as individuals, as a family, as a community, as a society, as a nation, and as a world, and let us straight His paths in us for God is with us, so it is just fitting that we become worthy of God’s belonging of Himself in us.
“Jesus, I trust in You” “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee”
Mary H. Distributist