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Association of the Miraculous Medal
Weekly Gospel Reflection

Besides her great privilege of being the Mother of God, Mary was also her Son’s first disciple. She is often called the Model, or Exemplar of the Church. Following her example, we walk with her through the Gospels as we reflect on her response to God in her life.

December 9, 2018 — Second Sunday of Advent
Luke 3:1-6
 Father Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.

A Catholic religious education teacher was introducing today’s Gospel to the four-year-olds at the children’s liturgy. She told them that John the Baptist did penance by living in the desert and eating locusts and wild honey. “Yuk!” exclaimed one of the children, “I hate honey.”

Personally, I think grasshoppers would be a lot more penance than honey. But we don’t need either one. John told his hearers to repent and to seek forgiveness of their sins. He wanted to prepare them for Jesus. When Jesus came to the Jordan River, John pointed him out as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

Jesus takes away our sins in the Sacrament of Penance.  The season of Advent is a special time to prepare for the celebration of Christmas, to open our hearts to his presence in our lives today, and to ready ourselves for his coming at the end of our days. There is no better way to prepare than by receiving Christ’s forgiveness and grace in the Sacrament of Penance.

Jesus invites us to meet him in this sacrament. No matter what priest is seated in the confessional, Jesus is the one who hears our confession and tells us that our sins are forgiven.  Whether our sins are great or small, Jesus wants to forgive them far more than we want to be forgiven. He wants us to experience the peace announced by the angels at his birth, the peace of soul that he alone can give by forgiving our sins and blessing us with his grace.

So we can forget the grasshoppers and honey! Let’s meet Jesus in the Sacrament of Penance, and at Christmas we will experience what John promises at the end of today’s Gospel: We will “see the salvation of God.”

Read last week's reflection.