John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
Welcome as we enter the second week of our new Church year and this Advent.
Last week, Prime Bishop elaborated on Advent as a transitional time between a focus on the last things, being ready for Jesus’ return at the end of time and our need for personal preparation right now so we may best welcome Jesus anew into our lives.
As St. Paul noted in our Epistle last week, we are prepared for this task of readiness by the enriching grace we have in our knowledge of Jesus. Paul reminded us that we have this time to focus on what we have learned about Jesus and the opportunity to put that knowledge into action.
This week calls us deeper into the active engagement we are to have as the people of Christ – Christians. Today, Peter sets the stage regarding the kind of people we are to be, a people: conducting ourselves in holiness and devotion, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God.
Now it may occur to us – how do we hasten God along? Besides what we might think, it is the actual work we are to do in building the Kingdom of God so the saying Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus will come to fruition.
We build the Kingdom by this: taking action that contributes to the purposes of God here and now, in our community, among friends, family, and coworkers. Among the many Kingdom building actions we need to engage in are: Evangelism: bringing people into the kingdom; Benevolence: showing the love of God to others through our charity and kindness; Having godly relationships that show the reality of the kingdom by example.; Encouraging love and good deeds; Building up knowledge of God by study, reading of scripture, and practice; Regular worship; Carrying out the corporal and spiritual works of mercy; and… Doing all in the Name of the Lord, being dedicated to Him.
The Oxford Dictionary tells us that fruition is the point at which a plan or project is realized and the action of producing fruit occurs. Indeed, Advent is about that. The Blessed Virgin carries within her the fruitfulness that will save us all. So too, like John we must go out and proclaim a fruitful message: Prepare yourselves, Christ is in our midst, and He waits for you. Join me in knowing Him.