Offer All to Jesus this Advent
On this Second Sunday of Advent, the Gospel invites us to ask ourselves: For what or for whom do I live? Why am I alive?
The truth is God is always calling us to convert and to live our lives for the Gospel and for Jesus Christ, like John the Baptist. For various reasons many people do not want to live for God. Some are too busy for God. Others are afraid to surrender to His Love. Still others give into egoism, the desire for pleasure, and the pursuit of money. We see this all too often on television, when movie stars and sports heroes are unfaithful to their spouses, or become lost in drug or alcohol addiction.
The fact that you are reading this reflection means that you, in some way, want to follow the call of conversion—the call of St. John the Baptist. In your heart there must be a desire to say “yes” to God. Unlike the many commercials, movies, and TV shows that lie by making you think everything will be great in the end, I will not delude you and tell you that everything in your lives will be perfect and pleasant if you follow Christ. No. Following Christ is connected with the cross. Saying “yes” to Christ means saying “yes” to suffering and loneliness. At the same time, saying “yes” to Christ is also connected with greater freedom, a deeper sense of the beauty and meaning of this life on the earth, and joy and hope in God’s love and of Heaven.
How was St. John the Baptist able to dedicate his entire life to Jesus Christ and endure the ridicule of others who thought that he was crazy? How was he able to have hope while imprisoned and facing death by beheading for the crime of telling the truth? What was his secret to enduring suffering? St. John the Baptist had hope because he knew what to do with his suffering. He knew that he could offer every moment of his life to God, especially those moments of deep suffering, anxiety, loneliness and even fear, and he believed that God, through Jesus Christ, would accept his offering and transform it into something great.
Advent is the ideal time to try to begin offering your life to Jesus Christ. This Advent, we can offer Him our preparations for Christmas, our difficulties, our uncertainties about the future, our helplessness, our fears, and our joys with the hope that Jesus will accept our offerings and immerse every imperfect thing we offer to Him into His own perfect sacrifice, and give this to God the Father.
If, you experience that you are unable to offer even the smallest things to Jesus, do not be afraid to invite Mary into your hearts this Advent and ask for Her intercession. She, as our Heavenly Mother, is ready to help us, especially when we feel helpless or unable to follow Christ. Mary knows Jesus. She carried Him in Her womb and held Him in Her arms. She also knows how He stoops down to us in gentleness and love, especially in those moments when life is difficult and suffering is painful. She knows how He makes winding roads straight, and every rough way smooth. And She knows that He is our hope, our rescue, and the One who gives every person’s suffering and life meaning.
Yours in Christ,
Readings for the Second Sunday of Advent: Lectionary 63Tags: #advent, #arturmarat, #frarthurmarat, #olw, #olwparish, #reflection, #secondsundayofadvent, #suffering