2nd Sunday Advent B
Isa.40:1-5,9-11; 2Peter 38-14; Mk.1:1-8
The times are bad. Great is the suffering. Loud are the cries of the poor and the earth. There is a great sense of desolation among the people. Emptiness, sadness, scepticism, no enthusiasm, no peace and fear, are being manifested these days. The world is grieving. A sense of helplessness is creeping in. The view is that all is bad news.
The times and experiences of the Biblical People can be likened to ours.
In Isaiah’s time, the Hebrew people were in Babylonian Captivity, demoralised, alienated, feeling punished and living with their guilt. There they were longing for change, a reprieve, the return.
The Christians, in the days of Peter, persecuted, scorned for their belief and disturbed by false teachings and preachers, were awaiting for the promised return of the Lord. They sought an end to their sense of loss .
And in the days of John the Baptist, in Mark’s Gospel, there were a people awaiting for the promised one and went after in search of anyone who could fill their emptiness. In bad times, people seek to be filled.
But darkness does not have the last say. Even if the sun is blocked off by the haze or cloud cover, the sun is there. The sun is sure to rise. That’s how the scriptures gave hope to the disillusioned, the broken-hearted, the seekers and the waiting. Simply, desolation does not last forever. All of us undergo our moments of desolations and consolations. But what the world is going through is on a larger scale.
But God never failed to remind the biblical people and us that “all things are in His hands”; that He is the God of Consolation. That consolation could come in any form or through unexpected mediums.
So we have the rise of Cyrus of Persia, the hope and consolation, a foreigner to set the Israelites free to return from exile.
Peter reminded His people that the true and real consolation is the right understanding of God and in living with hope, of the new heavens and earth , and of the much awaited end that will come eventually.
For John Baptist, the real consolation was in repentance, baptism and forgiveness, and in coming of the Holy Spirit. Consolation takes many and different forms.
There are no quickies.We need the spirit of God. There is “no effective consolation without God’s intervention”. No alliances, nor personalities, nor relationships, nor materialism, nor philosophies, nor any analysis can console us nor bring comfort. Real consolation comes after undergoing a process:
- Healing the ghosts of our past
- Allying ourselves in the ONE who wants our best
- Grief for a determined time, then LIVE, begin to live.
Faustina said that “it is impossible for anyone or anything to harm you when your heart is perfectly set on the Lord”.
Hope is not wishful thinking. Hope saves. Hope is in what we do not see and when we wait in patience on the God of His Word & Promises.
We hope in ‘events to change’ but real hope is when we “rely on the God of Change”.