BREAD OF THE WORD
SUNDAY OF ADVENT II (Cycle A)
Man cannot live without ‘utopias‘, needs to believe in something that gives meaning to your life and impulse to action. When you have a dream you have to strive to reach it, only those who are bent on realizing their dreams develop a transformative capacity that triggers a power capable of overcoming the greatest obstacles that arise. Only those who live for an ideal lived intensely. Life without any ideal loses its meaning.
Large projects that have made history have been great dreamers work, characters that a different future, a different society, a better world imagined; characters who refused to believe that things could not change, who refused to submit to this to live in the moment. Have been the big dreams that motivated men to transform history. Today, however, we seem to be living the death of utopias. The prevailing pragmatism cannot look to the future, many people only live for today, enjoy the most is the time, do not want to think about the future , they have big projects in their life but that no longer idealists and dreamers, but when man loses the ability to dream, when it has no ideal, becomes a compulsive merely reactive, be conformist.
Christian also believes in a ‘utopia‘, but this is essentially founded hope in the promises of God. Christian utopia has deep biblical roots. We found that in the Old Testament the people of Israel lives of the Messianic hope, firmly believes in the arrival of a savior Messiah is that hope that made sense of their history, making “the salvation history.”
In the first reading (cf., Is 11, 1-10), the prophet Isaiah announces the arrival of a righteous judge who will not judge by appearances, will defend the poor and punish the wicked. The prophet presents an image of paradise that looks like the account of a dream: it speaks of peace, reconciliation of man with nature, harmony between living things, “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child shepherds. The cow and the bear, their young knocked over together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The boy played with the hole of the asp, the baby put his hand in the cache of the snake. They will not hurt nor destroy in my entire holy mountain… “(Is 11: 6-9). It is a utopia that is based on faith in the messianic hope.
The realization of the messianic utopia, described in several passages in the book of Isaiah, will be the end of human history. With the second coming of Christ fully comply announced by the prophet, there will be no more wars, no divisions, the Lord will wipe away tears from our eyes, there will be no more crying or pain, and the last enemy defeated is death ( Cf . , Ap 21 , 4 ), so Christians live in anxious expectancy of the soon return of the Lord. Christian utopia shows us the world, but it draws us into its transformation to accelerate the arrival of the fullness of God’s kingdom. Indeed, await the coming of the Lord does not mean sit back, it is a commitment to work preparing his ‘return’ does not mean evade our responsibilities, but assume a Christian spirit.
In the second reading (cf. Rm 15 , 4-9), the apostle Paul exhorts us to keep hope, trusting in the faithfulness of God who keeps his promises, “… among our patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” ( Rm 15, 4 ). Hope is the inseparable companion of faith, hope without faith decays and eventually dies.
Waiting also means the ability to project a different future, the reality is guaranteed by God’s promise. We must shake off our sins of omission, inaction, our lack of hope, as Jürgen Moltmann says in his book “Theology of Hope”: God promises us a new heaven and a new earth, and man acts as if not exist around this land. God promises eternal life and man live as if this life were the only existing. God promises heaven and earth only man prefers. Christian hope is not mere utopia, but is grounded in our faith in Christ, reason and foundation of our hope without the knowledge of faith; hope would become mere utopia, in the sense impossible. Having hope is not unrealistic, just the opposite, having more realistic hope. Hope does not take things as they are but as there should be, i.e., the man of hope sees another dimension of things, see other possibilities that cannot see that does not have faith and hope. The man of hope anticipates the future, projecting a future that is not yet, but it will become.
You need to daydream, to think that a better world, where they can make the greatest desires of man is possible. Many in the past dreamed of a better world, a paradise on earth made only with human effort, for that ideal were able to sacrifice even his own life. It is not wrong to dream, his mistake was thinking that they could build a paradise on earth counting only with human effort. Dreams, ideals are not, as you think, an escape from reality, is the ability to see a harsh reality in another way, as it should be, consequently, should lead us to strive to transform it.
Man never cannot build a paradise on earth with only their efforts, but God power our dreams beyond what we are capable of dreaming. Dreaming in biblical language is often equivalent to wait. The word of God is our hope and feeding of our greatest dreams. God will actually man’s greatest dreams: the dream of a fully happy life, where there is no more suffering, sorrow and pain.
Some say: Why think about the future if it does not arrive, the only thing that exists is the present, but they forget that the meaning of this is revealed in the future, the future will also be present? Hope does not mean forgetting the present, on the contrary, it is an invitation to transform this present with which we are unhappy. A sure sign of true hope is the courage and determination to face the events of this time. Too human hopes rather alienate us, make us flee this .
Hoping to find the strength to keep believing, even in the deepest darkness, despair and lose heart. Christian hope reminds us of God’s promises, promises made but not fully met: hope for a better world, a new heaven and a new earth. Hope is not, on the other hand, a cheap optimism that thinks everything will work out and fall into a deceptive conformity. Hope leads us rather to assume responsibility for our work in the world. Who expected promises to accelerate the fulfillment of what you expect in life.
God having made his projects man, He will not do things for us, He will do what we do reach a fullness that otherwise could not reach. The Christian cannot sit back and wait for God to do his work. God will make our work, our efforts have efficacy would not have without their help. So worth the effort, worth sacrificing for a better world, but with the conviction that there will be a better world, a paradise without God’s intervention.
God is already intervening in history and is inviting each of us to lend a hand to build a better society. God wants to transform the world without our cooperation. There is no room for laziness, idleness, we must dream awake, not asleep, to be awakened, as St. Paul told us last Sunday reading (cf. Rm 13, 11). We must take seriously our commitment to take our faith seriously, which is why the word of God calls us to constant conversion. A common sin in our time is the lack of hope, resignation, laziness, sadness, discouragement, fatigue; want not what God intends us to resign in feel defeated before fighting for something life.
Sunday’s Gospel (cf., Mt 3 1-12) is an urgent call from John the Baptist to the conversion to the imminent arrival of the savior. Become a “return to the Lord “, retrace the wrong ways, also means abandoning the carelessness, complacency, laziness, consider this time as the definitive time, discover the presence of God comes. John the Baptist told his listeners on the banks of Jordan: No trust, no illusions considered as children of Abraham, because God can rise up children to Abraham from stones. The same would many Christians of our time: do not trust, do not feel safe saying “we believe” we are in such a congregation or religious organization that does not help if we do not convert to heart.
May this time of Advent, waiting time, time to prepare for the coming of the Lord is truly that, a time of preparation, remembering the words of the Lord: be prepared for the day and hour you do not expect is the Lord. Today Juan Bautista is no longer the voice crying in the wilderness, today is the voice of the Church that tells you: preparing the way of the Lord, paves the trails. Ask yourself how many things have to be smooth in your life?