December 6, 2020 – Second Sunday of Advent
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/120620.cfm)
Have you heard about the missing Bambino?
A story once told that day after Christmas, after all the parties and celebrations, words came out that the Bambino – “the Child Jesus” in a parish church went missing. Parishioners became quite concerned then for nobody can account for the whereabouts of their beloved and now missing Bambino. Perhaps it has been stolen and worse – desecrated by some unbelievers. Days after the incident, resigned with the sad fate of their missing Bambino, a father with his crying boy came to the parish church and brought back with them the missing Bambino. Rejoiced for the return of their missing Bambino, they asked the boy what really happened. The boy said, “My friend and I visited the baby here last Christmas night. The Bambino was sad and all alone. Nobody was with Him except us. So we decided to invite and bring Him home, and brought Him in our chapel where together we could happily play and be with Him”…
We may at times become so engrossed with & worried about the season of the celebration that we miss the Reason of the celebration itself. We at times concern ourselves more with the “how” that we fail the “why” we celebrate.
We are now into Advent Season, at the 2nd Sunday of Advent. Advent is all about preparation, preparation for the coming event – the once again visit and arrival of our Lord Jesus Christ into our lives. Advent is then not the event but the preparation of the coming event. Our gospel today introduced us John the Baptist as the herald and messenger who prepares the way of the Lord. He was predicted to be the one who announces the coming of the Lord into our lives. He prepared his whole life and other people’s lives to welcome the Messiah into our lives. John the Baptist then is not the Gospel but only the precursor – the beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God. In other words, He is not the Groom but Best Man of the Groom who paves the way for the celebration of Wedding.
Like John the Baptist, we Christians, followers and believers of Christ today are called to be heralds, messengers and announcers of the gospel of the Lord’s coming into our lives. We are to prepare ourselves and the world for the once again & anew visit and arrival of our Lord into our day to day lives. As last Sunday reminds us, we are to “Be alert, awake and aware” for the coming Event. This is the “How” we are to be for the Lord’s coming. And the very “Why” – the reason and gospel of Christmas is Incarnation.
However, like the story of the missing Bambino, we may become so engrossed with the preparation that we miss the event itself – bogged down with the season that we miss the reason of celebration. It is like leaving the expected guest all alone on his own in the living room while we just go back to our own affairs after joyfully welcoming him, – or the best man who is so engaged with his formal attire that he missed to bring the wedding ring for the weeding. Or like Martha, we become so concerned with what to do for the Lord as He visits that we fail to be with Him. Or worse, we might just left Him behind on His own, neglected – allowed only when needed.
Christmas is not all about us welcoming the Lord but moreso about “Immanuel” God-being with Us – the Lord coming and staying into our lives. We may have been planning to joyfully welcome and celebrate His coming visit but do we allow Him to come in stay and be with us? Pinatuloy mo na, papatirahin mo ba Siya sa Inyo? Or will he just remain a guest and temporary settler/squatter of our home?
2nd Sunday of Advent proclaims the message of God’s Love. This is to remind us that as active and passive verb, Love means both to love & be loved. God loves us & we are beloved by God. We should love God in return & God should beloved by us as well. Again like at the arrival area in the airport, We wait for God but God also waits for us to recognize & let Him into our lives now.
During this Advent season, may our hearts be more willing and open to welcome the Lord once again & anew into our lives, not just a visiting guest but a welcome member of our home & family, community & church to partner & accompany us to the coming challenges ahead during these pandemic times.
Dayon, Tuloy po kayo. 어서 오시. Come in, Lord Jesus & Stay with us now and always. Amen.