By Fr. Thiago, sx –
The first Sunday of Advent season was inviting us to be vigilant in order to recognize the daily comings of the Lord in our lives and, at the same time, to be oriented towards his second coming in glory. Cardinal Newman, inspired by this invitation – which should not be confined only to this liturgical season, but it should characterize our whole existence – defined the Christians as “the ones who wait for Christ.”
In our days, however, the word “waiting” can be easily identified as something boring or old fashioned. It can appear as synonym of passivity and inertia, since we live in a society based on efficiency and productivity, where people want all and fast.
Nevertheless, the Christians – who don´t allow themselves to be simply identified by what they do, but by their relationship with Christ – live their waiting for the Lord not as a passive action, rather, such dimension is lived by them as a deep commitment, more precisely, as conversion.
This is the message which comes from the liturgy of this second Sunday in Advent season, through the life of John the Baptist. With his life, John tells us that conversion is not a matter of following a serie of rules or precepts; instead, conversion is to welcome the Lord Jesus, who is constantly visiting us, and to have him as our only guide.
Christian waiting lived as conversion prevents us from remaining confortably in our own securities (as pope Francis reminds us), and it leads us to the many and different “existencial deserts” of our world in order to announce Jesus´ joyful message of life, preparing, like John the Baptist, in our own lives, in the lives of our brothers and sisters and in the history of the world the way for the advent of the Lord.
From the writings of Saint Guido
“All the patriarchs from ancient times, from Adam, the father of death up to the humble Joseph, who carried in his arms the father of life; all the prophets, from Moses, the legislator, up to Simeon, who greeted and embraced the author of the new covenant; all the martyrs, from Abel to John the Baptist, all those who believed, hoped and loved while they awaited the Liberator, greet his coming with acclamations of hosanna and alleluia… it was, in one word, happiness.”
(1919, 8 December, Parma)