Mt 3:1-12 You Brood of Vipers!
Wow! These are really harsh words that St. John the Baptist used when he saw the Pharisees and the Sadducees.
These are nothing compared to what the Lord may say to me if I do not repent for my sins and ask Him for forgiveness. It is just a matter of time when I will be held accountable, for all eternity, for the hate or hurt, shame or pain I may have given to others. It is only a matter of time. I am one breath away from eternity.
But isn’t St. John being hurtful, mean and hurtful by using these harsh words? No. The truth sometimes hurts, but it is much better than the pain we will experience at the hands of the devil. After all, he doesn’t love us. His pain is not meant to heal but to hurt. His words are not meant to warn but to warm us up and put us in the furnace of hopelessness!
Let us never forget. Sin impedes us from reaching our greatest desire: Love! And it prevents us from reaching our greatest Lover, God, who is Love. After all, we were created in his image and likeness. Therefore we desire what he desires: Love. We were created to be with Him, for Him and in Him. With sin we always fall short. We begin to settle for less. Instead of love, we settle for lust. Instead of friends, we settle for fans. Instead of marriage, we may even settle for living together. Advent is a time of anticipation, a time of hope! Yes! I can do better! I can live better! I can be better!
We do not have to settle for sin or being sinners. We don’t have to be a viper, a snake, or worse, some creature made from the depths of the earth. Read the amazing life of the Hymenoepimecis wasp. It turns its prey, a spider, into something it was never created to be. This is exactly what sin does to me, to all of us: It poisons us. It poisons our day, ruins our nights and confuses our family and friends. Sin destroys what is good, worthy and holy in us. Sin turns us into animals or even worse: a monster. St John the Baptist looked like a monster, but was a lamb. The Pharisees and Sadducees looked like angels on the outside but were devils on the inside.
This Advent, we are called to look out for the coming of the Lord; to look towards the heavens and to search for the star. If I want to live well and happily; if I want to experience the best in life, then I need to know Him who created me. I need to know who my Lord is. By knowing Him, I will know myself better. I will know what is expected of me. I will live my life to the full. Christ makes all the difference in the world because he is out of this world!
This advent, ask yourself the following questions?
Do I have a hard time forgiving others? Do I have difficulty being patient with my family and friends? Is it hard for me to be more giving? Is it painful for me to reach out to others? If I answered yes to any of these questions, then I am not fulfilling my greatest desire: to love. I need to look to Him and learn from Him. How did the Lord forgive? How was the Lord patient with me? How is he patient with others? What did the Lord do to reach out to his enemies? How did the Lord love His Father and others?
May God help us all in discovering the beauty of our faith and reaching our greatest desire ever. Amen.