Change your gift, give the gift of change. This Advent, spare a thought for the spiritually homeless. These are people who find themselves distanced from Christ. Once active Christians, they went away for many a reason. Some merely drifted, lulled by distractions. Others, dissatisfied, vented anger and left. Willfully or unintentionally, they now find themselves marooned, unable to come home this Christmas on their own.
We all travel the roads of life. Along the way we encounter many people and pick up many experiences. These change us and influence our choice of roads we travel on. Some of us will set off in a new direction when we lose our belief in Christ. We can go on merrily for years without Christ as long as we are energetic, healthy and wealthy. Then there are some of us who set off with a backpack of bitterness feeling that Christ has let us down. One reason or other, this is the season to make straight the road for these to come home.
We are all bearers of the Good News, entrusted to spread the Gospel. This Advent season we are called to become “John the Baptist” in our daily life to the people we are blessed to meet.
“Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight, and all mankind shall see the salvation of God”. (Today’s Gospel)
Many people who are now disconnected from God may want the opportunity to return. They are tired and wearied by their life journey. Many are wounded and hurt. They have a backpack full of confusing emotions and they can no longer recognize Christ on their own. They are unsure, hesitant and fragile. They may be filled with uncalled for guilt and unworthiness. They are all full of doubts and in need of healing. This Advent may be the opportune time for us to lend a helping hand.
Let us change our gift for this Christmas and give the gift of change to the spiritually needy. People who want to come home need a personal encounter with Christ. Their emotions and needs need to be addressed first. In their fragility, they must first encounter Love in the form of a real experience.
“Every valley will be filled in, every mountain and hill will be laid low, winding roads will be straightened and rough roads made smooth”.
Christmas. Christ want to enter the lives of the spiritually needy. He wants to reach the marooned. To turn it into a real experience, he needs us to be his instruments. He wants to use us to enter the lives of others. He desires to touch them, and can through us. He is calling us to go meet them where they are emotionally and offer them comfort and love. Only when they experience Christ to be real will they begin their journey home for Christmas.
We can be these gifts. We are like mini-John the Baptists going into the wilderness of people’s lives to accompany them home like a bridge over a broken road. This Christmas, change your gift, give this gift of change.
2nd Sunday of Advent