First Reading: Is. 11: 1-10.

After long waiting a new paradise will be enjoyed by all with the arrival of the offspring of David from the root of Jesse.

Second Reading: Rom. 15: 4-9.

Everything has been written in the Scriptures for our encouragement and instruction. This will enable us live in perfect harmony with one another.

Gospel: Matt. 3: 1-12.

John the Baptist appears as a voice crying in the wilderness – prepare the way of the Lord, repent, and escape the just judgment

In advent, we prepare to welcome Jesus. The end of the year Sundays remind us of the eschatological coming of Jesus at the end of time, while the advent prepares us to welcome him again as we celebrate his initial entry into history.

In order to welcome Jesus, we must reach out to welcome one another. Hence the reading from Isaiah announces reconciliation in a very symbolic way. “The wolf shall be the guest of a lamb…, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the young lion shall browse… with a little child as a guide.” The righteousness of humans will bring about this state.

Paul tells us through his letter that Christian life and fellowship should be marked by:

  • Consideration
  • Study of the Scriptures
  • Fortitude, hupomone,e. beyond patience. It is the strength which does not only accept things but transmutes them into glory.
  • Hope in the power of God. Hope because he believes in God.
  • Harmony, which accepts arguments, debates, differences of opinion, unity of purpose and joy in living together.
  • Praise of God.
  • Imitation of Jesus Christ.

The gospel calls us to repentance through the preaching of John the Baptist. John denounced evil, summoned men to righteousness. He always prayed before work. He stayed long with God before ministering to men. He did not preach himself, rather, he pointed to Christ and to God the Father. His message was his life. He warned the Israelites not to live in the past but to repent.

Repentance means change of life, and not sinning and repenting in order to sin again. Our preparation for Christmas this year would include thorough repentance by a genuine change of life. The rabbis have a saying: “If a man has an unclean thing in his hands, he may wash them in all the seas of the world and he will never be clean. But if he throws the unclean thing away, a little water will suffice.”

Repentance shows in good fruits, new attitude, new life and behavior.