Reflections - Dec. 7, 2014

On this second Sunday of Advent the Church presents us with the figure of John the Baptist that
is presented to us as, “a voice crying in the desert…..”.
A few years ago I read a book entitled:  “The desert in the City”.  This book reminded me of the desert.  For those of us who have visited the Middle East it can be an extension of land where more than 30% is arid desert and in the middle of the day there is chilling silence and searing sun.
However, John the Baptist, the precursor of Jesus, the Son of God, presents us with another desert.  There is no need to look for it on a tour to the Middle East, nor is it outside of you.  It comes from within you in our city and among our neighbors and relatives.  It is a desert where you scream and nobody listens to you.  Some days ago I read in a newspaper about a young woman who was assaulted and no one heard her cries.  She saw some cars that passed by but no one did anything to save her from those beasts “in her desert”.  Only a “homeless person” approached to help her.  It was a “voice” that cried out next to her asking for help.
There are many deserts in our life that isolate us from others.  It is the emptiness that we carry in our hearts that makes us live with fear and without hope.  We try to fill it by working exhausting hours or texting rampantly in our cellular phones.  The bottom line is that we fear loneliness.  That is our desert and we do not want to confront ourselves with the truth of who I am, who are my neighbors, and why did I come into this world.  The answer to that loneliness in your lives comes from the Messiah, “the one who will baptize you with the Holy Spirit”.  The love of the Holy Spirit will allow the desert in your lives to flourish and will help you to break that isolation to extend helping hands to friends.  It will help you give hope to others, pray for those who suffer, and help the needy, thereby, imitating Mary, the mother of Christ, whose feast of her Immaculate Conception we celebrate tomorrow.  Let us be like our Mother in heaven, a voice of hope in the desert of the human heart.