A reading from the gospel according to Luke 3:1-6
1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,
2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.
3 John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
4 as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah: A voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.
5 Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low. The winding roads shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth,
6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”
1. The gospel reading above mentions very important people (VIP) yet it is to a man in the wilderness that the Word of God was revealed. A great lesson to be learned here. John the Baptist lived in the desert seeking only the presence of God while the great men of his time lived in their palaces seeking the adulation of people.
2. The desert is a desolate place away from the bustle and hustle of city life where the voice of God is drown out by noises from every direction. John the Baptist could not have chosen a better place to prepare him for his ministry. Indeed, modern life is not only hectic but noisy and full of distractions. That is why it is always best to go for a walk in a desolate place, perhaps in a forest, where we can focus all our attention on God alone. If it is not possible, we can just shut the door of our room (Matthew 6:6), switch off the television and stuck away our mobile phone in a drawer so we can concentrate on listening to the voice of God. The point is we need complete silence because common sense dictates that it is in quietness that we hear God’s voice.
3. John proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Repentance is a condition for salvation. God loves us as to send His only begotten Son to deliver us from death and eternal damnation yet we need to accept first that we are sinners, then repent and change our ways.
4. The cry of John the Baptist was and still is to prepare a way for the Lord and to make straight His path. When a special visitor comes to our residence, we will make sure that everything is in order. We will spend a day or even a week to clean, maybe repaint and fix everything to show the very best impression and to give our visitor a comfortable stay in our house. Don’t we do that to Jesus our savior? The season of advent is the best time to do it. Let us fix our life, clean our mind and heart, and put on the garment of faith, hope, and love to welcome Him.