Statue of St. John the Baptist outside his cathedral in Lyon, France. Photo by Erwan Martin on Unsplash.
Our character for the second week of Advent is John the Baptist. John the Baptist referred to himself as the “voice crying out in the wilderness.” This is a reference to another verse we hear every year at Advent, from Isaiah: "A voice of one calling: ‘in the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord” (Isaiah 40:3). And how do we prepare the way of the Lord? By being a voice.What does a voice do? It speaks. It expresses thoughts, emotions and ideas. It helps us communicate. It announces. We can preach the Gospel with actions and by the way we live our lives, but we must also use our voice. St. Paul says to the Romans: “Faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ. But I ask, did they not hear? Certainly they did; for their voice has gone forth to all the earth” (10:17-18).But how does it feel to not have a voice? Everyone knows of someone who does not have a voice. Think of the refugees, the migrants, the young, the unborn, the homeless, the elderly, the chronically ill, those with mental health issues, victims of sexual assault, those with disabilities, and all who are marginalized in one way or another. I think we can all relate: some of us have had times when we felt we didn't have a voice. Some of you may not have a voice right now.Sometimes we have been guilty of taking someone's voice away.Not only is Advent a time to remember those who have brought the Word to us, like John Baptist, but also to be that voice for others. Advent is a time to proclaim the Word to others and to be the voice for all who have lost theirs.This is what we are called to live during Advent:Do everything we can so that the stresses of the world do not take away our voice or make us take someone else's voice away; allow ourselves to listen to the voice of others who need to be heard, and do everything we can in order to give a voice to those who have lost it. And finally, arm ourselves with the knowledge we need in order to have the words to proclaim the Word.As we prepare for our second week of Advent this year, let’s consider what it means to be a voice in the world. This is the Voice that heralds us towards Christmas.Let us Pray:"You, my child shall be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare His way, To give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins."Come Light of the world and give us the voice to announce your coming!