John came from the desert crying out to the people, calling them to a moment of “metanoia”...literally “a turning around”. The Voice of John the Baptist cries out to us in the midst of the rush and chaos of the Advent season, calling us to a conversion of heart. He announces the breaking forth of the Reign of God in our very midst. But can we hear him amid the cacophony and the clamor of our busy and overscheduled lives? I think it is very difficult unless we are willing to step back, to sit down and to spend a moment reflecting on our lives and our relationships. We need to ask ourselves if we are “living” our discipleship.
The Scriptures for this Sunday speak of a new time for the people of Israel, a time of great hope — a new reign that is breaking forth. In this new world, mercy and justice will flourish and the wicked and unjust ones will be banished forever. But as we look around it seems as if we are a long way off from the “peaceable kingdom”. Wars rage and political unrest swirl around us like the biting winds of a cold December night. Millions of our sisters and brothers desperately seek refuge, with no home in sight. Terrorists strike the innocent and fill us with fear...it all seems so bleak.
Where is the Reign of God bursting forth? It is waiting to burst forth from within each one of us! The Reign of God bursts forth every time we respond to a person or a situation in a Christ-like manner.
Are we brave enough to “turn around” to answer the call of John the Baptist...to allow the love of God to soften our hearts and enlighten our minds? As Christians are we willing to really “live” the Reign of God through our daily actions?
What would that look like?...what would I have to change in my life for me to be a clearer living sign to others of the bursting forth of the Reign of God — bringing love, mercy and forgiveness into a world so full of anger, violence and fear? Let us prepare the way of the Lord by spreading love, mercy and forgiveness!