Second Week of Advent 2020
Second week of Advent: Gospel Reflection by Fr Hilton Roberts: (Audio file)
Second week of Advent: Gospel Reflection by Fr Hilton Roberts: (Video file)
Gospel: Mark 1:1-8
A voice cries in the wilderness: prepare a way for the Lord
A voice cries in the wilderness:
Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11. Psalm 84(85):9-14, 2 Peter 3:8-14, Mark 1:1-8
“Comfort, give comfort to my people,” says your God! IS 40:1
In the first reading, the prophet reports this command. In the sorrows of life, who does not long for comfort? Yet, what is comfort?
When we want it, sometimes what we want is just what the good shepherd gives his lost sheep – we want God to carry us. But a child that is carried all the time will never learn to walk, to leap and run. That child, weak enough already to be carried, will only get weaker as the carrying goes on. And comfort isn’t a matter of giving weakness. It’s a matter of giving strength – strength for walking, even over very rough roads.
In fact, the “fort” in “comfort” comes from the Latin word for “strong”. The “com” in “comfort” is from the Latin word for “with”. To give comfort to someone is to lend him some of your strength. He is more able to stand on his own feet and walk because you are with him.
But what is the comfort of God? Where is it? How do we find it?
The Gospel says that Christ baptises his own with the Holy Spirit. Because of this Baptism, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within each person who comes to Christ. And so, anyone who comes to Christ and receives his Baptism will not walk the wild and rocky road of life alone. God is so much with him that, in the person of the Holy Spirit, God is within him.
God, we know that if you are for us, even within us, who can be against us? This is strength indeed. Thank you for giving us the Holy Spirit – the “Comforter”. Amen.
DR ELEONORE STUMP
‘Adore’ Advent Reflections