”God wishes us not to rest upon anything but His infinite goodness; do not let us expect anything, hope anything, or desire anything but from Him, and let us put our trust and confidence in Him alone.” - Saint Charles Borromeo
Gospel Text: (MT 3:1-12)
John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea
and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said:
A voice of one crying out in the desert,
Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
John wore clothing made of camel’s hair
and had a leather belt around his waist.
His food was locusts and wild honey.
At that time Jerusalem, all Judea,
and the whole region around the Jordan
were going out to him
and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River
as they acknowledged their sins.
When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees
coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers!
Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance.
And do not presume to say to yourselves,
‘We have Abraham as our father.’
For I tell you,
God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees.
Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit
will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
I am baptizing you with water, for repentance,
but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I.
I am not worthy to carry his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing fan is in his hand.
He will clear his threshing floor
and gather his wheat into his barn,
but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”
We are in a time of waiting, of anticipation, of hope. A world where the poor and afflicted are judged with justice. Where we won’t be judged by our appearances and the world will be infused with a spirit of wisdom and understanding, of counsel and strength. We all want to see a world where “the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb and the leopard shall lie down with the kid.” (IS 11:1-10) These beautiful words instill hope in all of us that the world could be a better place.
The images we envision seem beyond our control. What can I do to infuse my own corner of the world with a spirit of wisdom, peace, and understanding? How can I show a spirit of counsel and strength?
We all are afflicted and need the grace of God and each other. We need to look beyond ourselves to others.