2nd Sunday Advent | Year C
Bar. 5:1-9; Phi.1:3-11; Lk.3:1-6
It was in the German concentration camp that Viktor Frankl, saw and remembered men who walked through the huts, comforting others, giving away their last bit of bread. And this moved him to conclude:
“Everything was taken away from them, but the ONE THING they refused to have taken away – the last of human freedom – the FREEDOM TO CHOOSE ONE’S ATTITUDE IN ANY GIVEN SITUATION.
The freedom to choose our attitude is the last of our freedom. We can hold on to it or give it away. This freedom makes us different. The saints and heroes had this. This freedom begins with listening to the ‘voice in the wilderness’. Some view it as the GPS within, referring to the God, the Prophets and the Signs.
It can be a lonely voice, like Baruch’s and JB’s, persistent and radical, in the midst of the noise and hostility, in our exile and deserts.
Or it can be an inner voice, the Holy Spirit within or the conscience that prompts us to choose the path that brings us closer to God or brings us to God’s ways.
Listening to the ‘voice in the wilderness’ means a metanoia, an upheaval in personal priorities and an experience of undergoing, levelling and straightening of the uneven, the crooked, the rough and tough in our lives. Change follows. Beauty emerges. Divisions heal. People bond. East and West unify. People reconcile within, with one another and with God.
This voice may seek us out where we are;
Or draws us to the desert or wilderness or to ‘wild man’;
Or make us look for that voice that could calm the dis-ease,
Give meaning to the meaningless life
And free us from what imprisons us.
Be aware that there are other voices, the false ones.
First, there are the voice of the false teachers who stir up troubles. Paul experienced them in Phillipia. Today, we are not spared from the countless “teachings, prophecies and claims”.
Second the voice of complacency, a lazy spirit which lulls us to not excel, demonises change, makes people indifferent, breeds fear – fears multiplicity, multi-culturality, plurality and diversity.
Lastly, the voice of our ego which pursues power, pleasure and prestige and which, mocks, condemns, discourages and is unforgiving of sin, weaknesses and limitations within.
The voice in the wilderness, like the GPS, brings us home, HOME TO GOD.