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Theology for the common man

2nd Sunday of Advent A

Sunday, December 08, 2019

“O God judge your people in righteousness, your afflicted ones with justice”, we hear in today's Psalm, a wish by the psalmist, looking for true justice he could find only in God. Those words can serve as a key to understand the message of this second Sunday of Advent, calling to conversion and facing the coming of the Lord. John the Baptist foretells this coming of the Lord in the Gospel, calling the Jewish people to conversion in the wilderness of Judea by his gesture of baptism in the Jordan River. He himself, as his language is very severe and without any compromise, call his kinsmen a “brood of vipers” from Abraham descendants. Behind those words we can feel the promise of salvation for the people in the coming of Messiah, who according to the words of John will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. The mission of the Messiah will become a new criterion of divine choice to whom no sinner will escape. We can be surprised with this severe language of John the Baptist, who put everything on “a blade of knife” but he knows the stake is very high: human salvation (“The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire”); notwithstanding behind these words is hidden the plan of our merciful God who prepares the work of salvation and introduces a peace on the earth. This peace which is described in a poetic way by Isaiah the prophet, we read in the first reading. In the time of the coming of the Messiah (“In that day”); a shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord— and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.” This root of Jesse will become a sign for all the nations who will come to him for advice (counsel). The coming of the Lord will be a sign through which it will enter into the earth a peace and righteousness no matter who you are. And the Messiah will have a special attention to the poor and the wicked, looking at the heart of a man. In Jesus Christ this prophesy has become reality calling us to be faithful to God and to conversion.