Francis with flowers to Mary

On this second Sunday of Advent, the liturgy places us in the school of John the Baptist, who preached a “baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” And perhaps we ask ourselves, “Why do we have to convert? Conversion is for an atheist who becomes a believer, or a sinner who becomes just. But we don’t need it. We are already Christian.”

We can ask ourselves this and in this regard say, “We’re ok.” But that’s not true. Thinking like this, we don’t realize that it is precisely because of this presumption – that we are Christians, good in every way, that we’re doing the right thing – precisely because of this presumption we must convert: from the supposition that, overall, things are going well like they are and we don’t need any conversion.

But let us ask: Is it true that in the various situations and circumstances of life, we have in us the same sentiments that Jesus had? Is it true that we feel as Christ felt? For example, when we suffer some evil or some affront, can we react without animosity?

The voice of the Baptist still cries in humanity’s deserts of today, which are – what are the deserts of today? – they are the closed minds and the hardened hearts. And [his voice] calls us so that we ask ourselves if we actually are following the right path, living a life according to the Gospel. Today, as then, he admonishes us with the words of the Prophet Isaiah: “Prepare the way of the Lord!”

None of us can say, “I’m a saint; I’m perfect; I’m already saved.”

But we should be courageous: make low the mountains of pride and rivalry.

May we be aided in this by Our Lady – who is Mother and who knows how to do it – to bring down the walls and the obstacles that impede our conversion, that is, our journey toward the encounter with the Lord. He alone.

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