Dear Sisters and Brothers, a warm Seasons greetings to all of you in the name of Jesus the Christ.
The forerunner for Jesus, John the Baptist, had great spiritual insight– being able to discern that Jesus was the Christ. He quotes the prophet Isaiah and proclaims Jesus’ coming to initiate a new era, a new reign: the “kingdom of heaven is near”.
In Those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying” Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” This is he who was spoken of through prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the desert, Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.” (Mat.3:1-3 NIV)
Those awaiting change and transformation are to prepare the way; they are to be the initial signs of something new that is to happen — the coming reign. In our making preparations at Advent we are reminded of whom it is we prepare for: he who the prophets spoke about, His reign, His mission — our mission as Church.
The Church is reminded during the Advent Season and the Holy of Holy days to come that our mission is God’s mission, grounded in Scriptures, inspired by the Holy Spirit, needing to be outward focused to those who have yet to hear and experience God’s saving deeds and saving grace. We are reminded that He who we are to preach and teach is he who the prophets spoke about — our savior Jesus the Christ, whom we unshakeable proclaim.
Like John, we are to be forerunners for Jesus, doing his mission as He guides and accompanies us in the form of the Holy Spirit. The Advent Season, like every other season of the Christian calendar year, reminds us that we are the stewards of the Good News in Jesus Christ, that we are to be transformative agents in the world, that at the center of the Good News in Jesus Christ and repentance: radical transformation that makes the other, rather than us, the center of our mission. We are reminded of the need of the Church to proclaim the Good News and to transform and be transformed in Christ by and with our neighbor.
As we prepare to receive the Christ in this Advent Season, let us also prepare the ways to reach out, invite and welcome the neighbor (do the mission of the Church), attract those not yet part of the Church, share and proclaim the Good News of Jesus the Christ, give Jesus and the Church away to others.
May this Advent Season be one of joyous faith-filled preparations for all of us. May it be a time of sharing to make our faith contagious, a time of generous offering and giving of Jesus and the Church away to others, time of radical transformation and renewal.
I pray that the Spirit of the Christ will invade our lives and space, fill us with passion for Jesus, transforming us and our settings to the glory of the new-born Christ, who reigns in our hearts.
Happy and joyous Advent and Christmas Season to you and your family,
Rev. Jorge L. Morales