The first reading from the prophet Isaiah and the gospel of St. Mark carry with them three lessons.
The first message is that the Messiah is sure to come. We may not be sure about future events but according to Isaiah, we are certain that the Messiah will come. The second lesson is that before the Messiah comes, God will send a forerunner. a precursor who will announce the coming before it actually happens. The third lesson is this: the Messiah cannot come unless people turn away from sin, unless people get converted. The first time that the Lord came, the prophecy of Isaiah happened. The Messiah was born through the Blessed Virgin Mary. The forerunner, John the Baptizer, came and announced that unless you level the mountains of your sin, unless you patch up the valleys of your selfishness, the Messiah will not have any place in your heart.
Today, the Lord tells us He will come again at the end of time. That will be his second coming and the conditions for the second coming are the same as the first. John the Baptizer may not be here. But there are still some voices in the wilderness that announce the coming of the Lord at the end of time.
What are the voices announcing? There is a voice in the wilderness inside the womb of a mother, a baby crying and saying, “Do not abort me. Give me a chance to live.” In the voice of the wilderness, we hear teenagers crying for love and affection, teenagers who want to discover the meaning of life but are lost in drugs, alcohol and sex. The voice in the wilderness is probably the voice of an elderly person, a sick man, woman or child asking to be taken care of, asking to receive our affection and our human touch. Perhaps John the Baptizer will no longer come dressed in camel’s hair. Teenagers, children, abandoned wives, elderly people, lonely people – they are crying in the wilderness. It is only in attending to them that we can discover the coming of the Lord as truly meaningful.
Today at Mass, we beg the Lord for the grace to believe that He is sure to come. Let us not be impatient. Let us beg for the grace to listen to the little voices in the wilderness of our conscience, pleading for help. Let us beg for the grace to turn away from sin, from our selfish concerns and prepare for the coming of Jesus.
GOD WITH US
Jesus In My Heart