God speaks to us through last Sunday´s readings and what does he say? “Comfort my people.” He asks us to be consolation for his people, for those who suffer the most, for those who mourn a loved one, for the sick. That is the greatest desire He has. At the same time, we can ask ourselves: How can I comfort others when I need comfort myself? How can I comfort your people Lord, when my people suffer so much? How can I give hope to the downcast when I lack it myself? How can I smile at those who are sad, when I have had to live difficult things that have taken away my joy?
When God asks us for something, it is to make us grow and enable us to live fully. There is a hidden secret in loving, forgiving, comforting, and that is that by giving you receive, by forgiving you are forgiven. With Saint Francis of Assisi we want to say:
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand; To be loved, as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
This is what John the Baptist does in the Gospel, he recognizes that he can comfort others because he is expecting THE COMFORTER PAR EXCELENCE: Jesus. John knows that it is not Him but does not stop doing good. He knows he is small and insignificant but doesn’t allow himself to be paralyzed. He launches himself to baptize with water, it is what he has at his fingertips. He also launched himself to announce conversion and hope. He does not wait to have great gifts to offer or a quiet life to be light and good news. He brings consolation with what he has to a wounded people who are eagerly awaiting justice, forgiveness and peace.
We are in 2020, now it is our turn to be that voice in the desert. What do I have to offer? What water do I have? Let’s think about it for a moment and go on this advent journey together. With what little I have, I can take this valuable message to people, starting with those who are closest, with my loved ones: that barriers fall, forgiveness reigns, that we can look each other in the eye and see their value, beginning with our own families. We can think of our neighbours and of our city and believe that we are the ones called to carry this message of consolation despite being poor sinners. God asks us today to “console his people.” Since it will only be Christmas if we let the love of Jesus in and bring it to others.
We can begin with small acts of love that nobody sees, but remain between God and us in the depth of our hearts. We can make this commitment to bring comfort, peace and serenity to others, because it is by forgetting oneself that one truly finds oneself.
HAVE A GOOD JOURNEY!!!