Glory to Jesus Christ, the God-Man, who in His perfect humility, humbled Himself and took the form of a slave, paying the price for our sins and opening up to all people the gates of heaven so that all men may be saved through Him. On this Second Sunday of Advent, let us come together, one in faith and hope in the Lord Jesus, not singing the praises of ourselves nor boasting of our own abilities, but of the glories and great workings of God.
There is real hope for those who believe in the name of Jesus, taking to heart His message, doing penance with a humbled spirit and a contrite heart, cleaving themselves to the grace of God to be detached from the things of the flesh. Jesus came for all, Jews first and Gentiles second. God is faithful to His people. Let us then express our gratitude towards God, a gratitude which should be infinite. For God did not need to save us, and yet He has willed that even the worst of sinners be reconciled to Himself through His Church.
Let us not think that St. John the Baptist doubted whether Jesus was the Christ. John, in his great faith, sent his disciples to Jesus so that they may not rot in their own doubts, but that they may recognize Jesus as the Messiah for whom John prepared the way. We should look to the example of John, the greatest prophet, taking note of his holiness. Not only should we emulate his constant faith, but also his unyielding penances. By his donning of the camel’s hair and eating only locusts and honey, John relied only on the grace of God, detaching himself from the world. He knew, as Jesus says, that soft garments make soft men, because we in our vice are largely unable to humbly enjoy the goods of this world without mistaking them for our highest good, our last end. When the time comes, eat, drink, and be merry, but only with a heart which acknowledges these things come from and point back to the goodness and mercy of God.
We must take care not to mold Christ in our own image, but to conform to the example He has set for us. Jesus was not a military general, or a political leader, as so many expected the Messiah to be. He, in his fantastic humility and perfect virtue, has come to preach to the poor, to heal the sick, and to show unto us the way to salvation, which is the cross. There is no salvation without the cross. So great is Jesus’ humility that it is a stumbling block to the arrogant and the stupid. So simple is God that we fail to comprehend Him. So infinite is His love that it is a mystery.
In this time of preparation for the Second Coming of Christ, let us repent from our sins and glorify God for His great mercy, hoping in the salvation which He has promised to those who remain steady in their faith, as did John the Baptist and St. Paul. Let us find unity not in the dealings of men, but in the Church of Christ, in the Sacraments. Humility, humility, humility!
Reflections taken from Sunday Mass Readings: Romans 15:4-13 and St. Matthew 11:2-10
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.