Are we ready to allow Him in to mold our hearts?

Second Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11

Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her service is at an end, her guilt is expiated; indeed, she has received from the hand of the LORD double for all her sins.

A voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the LORD! Make straight in the wasteland a highway for our God! Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill shall be made low; the rugged land shall be made a plain, the rough country, a broad valley. Then the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Go up on to a high mountain, Zion, herald of glad tidings; cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, herald of good news! Fear not to cry out and say to the cities of Judah: Here is your God! Here comes with power the Lord GOD, who rules by his strong arm; here is his reward with him, his recompense before him. Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care.

2 Peter 3:8-14

Do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like one day. The Lord does not delay his promise, as some regard “delay,” but he is patient with you, not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a mighty roar and the elements will be dissolved by fire, and the earth and everything done on it will be found out.

Since everything is to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be, conducting yourselves in holiness and devotion, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved in flames and the elements melted by fire. But according to his promise we await new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you await these things, be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him, at peace.

Mark 1:1-8

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. A voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins. John was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He fed on locusts and wild honey. And this is what he proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Are we ready to allow Him in to mold our hearts?
Paul Yeung
Longing

Longing

We live in the most distracting era in our human history. We are gripped by our hunger for more indulgences (entertainments, food, etc.), more information, and more choices; anything we desire we want it instantly at our fingertips. We think we are in control, but in fact, we are being controlled and tempted constantly by our thirst for pleasures, possessions, and power. Unfortunately, the secular world has successfully hijacked Christmas, this holy and meaningful time of the year and turned it into a crazy shopping spree.

Long before we enter into Advent, our calendar has started filling up with parties of all kinds. Many even suffer from the stresses that come from preparing for the parties, buying presents for everyone, etc. We leave no room and no present for the One who brought us the first Christmas. The world advocates a very different kind of preparation from what is preached in the Gospel, one that unfortunately brings about stresses and restlessness instead of peace; one that satisfies our senses instead of our hearts and souls.

Advent once again reminds us to prepare for the (second) coming of Jesus. The word “prepare” means “to make ready in advance” so that we have the right disposition to accept and respond to His coming. A simple test of how ready we are is to ask ourselves: am I in joyful anticipation for the coming of the Lord, or am I dreaded to think about His sudden return? The preparation of our hearts requires us to reflect and repent constantly so as to make changes to our lives. As a matter of fact, Jesus is never too far away and keeps knocking on the door of our hearts, begging for a place to stay. Are we ready to allow Him in to mold our hearts?

Just as we always demand an instantaneous satisfaction to our desires, we also demand instantaneous answers to our prayers. We demand God to be on call for our ever changing desires. How we hope our Lord to be on Whatsapp so that we can seek instantaneous responses from Him! Yet, to the gentle and consistent request of Jesus thirsting to dwell in our hearts, we cruelly make Him wait and deny Him access.

While our God “is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief…” (2 Peter 3:9-10)

Let us pause for a moment during this busy Advent and Christmas season to level the uneven grounds in our hearts and straighten our priority to put Christ first and centre in our lives, so that as we wait for new heavens and a new earth, we will “be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace.” (2 Peter 3:13-14)

Spiritual Talk
Fr. Anthony Ho
On the 2nd Sunday of Advent (Year B), Fr. Anthony Ho discusses the role of John the Baptist in the Gospel of Mark. Fr. Anthony reminds us that we must be attentive and listen to God’s will to fulfil our mission in life. We need to remain humble at all times so that through our witness, we can bring those around us closer to Jesus Christ.
Listen >

Paul Yeung

 
Executive Director of Fountain of Love and Life (FLL).