LK 3: 1-6


Last Sunday, we reflected on this Advent not only as a time of waiting, but as an exciting and anticipated visit from someone we love, someone who truly loves us, someone who will visit us regardless of our situation or condition. In fact, he visits us when we are most sick, broken, pained and suffering. God visits us simply to show us his love.


In this second Sunday, we look into another aspect of Advent – the hope that Advent causes to spring up in our hearts. The Gospel today is full of hope. Imagine the imagery here: the prophet hopes that the valleys will be filled, the mountains flattened, the zigzag roads be made straight, and the rugged paths be made smooth. It is a hope for a total repair of all the infrastructures around!


John the Baptist is a sign of hope, too. He goes around the entire region preaching, proclaiming, crying out for repentance. He calls sinners to consider returning to the Lord because now, there is hope of forgiveness and new life. John preaches repentance but it is Jesus, the one he points out to people, who will bestow new life on all who believe.


Hope becomes most relevant when the situation is bleak, when one is in the dark. We hope when we cannot see clearly (cf. Rom. 8:24), otherwise it is no longer hope when what we desire is already before us. This pandemic period has taught us to hold on to our deepest hopes – for healing, for recovery, for normalcy, for vitality and health, for life… and eternal life.


When my close friend was suddenly hospitalized I made it a point to regularly contact him on the phone and through social media to encourage him to fight, to be positive, to have faith in the Lord and in himself. I reminded him constantly that God holds our future in his hands, our well-being in his heart, and our peace of mind in his divine will. When people go through a dark tunnel, they have the tendency to experience depression, self-pity, and inertia. They need hope to continue longing for the light that Jesus our Lord promised to those who believe.


Where is hope in your life today? Do you put your hope on small things or do you put your hope on great ones? While there are signs of hope both in the little and in the big events of life, God desires us to hope in his greatness, his power, and his might! Hope in God, and he will not disappoint you!