Advent, A Time To Prepare for a Revolution


I heard a bishop refer to the birth of a Christ as a revolution, not a time of cozy  sentiments. Initially, this kind of rocked  my world, as I really enjoy my Christmas  coziness. Upon further thought, though,  it makes perfect sense.  

In Sunday’s gospel we’ll hear these words  from John the Baptist (Lk 3:17); “His  winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his  threshing floor and to gather the wheat  into his barn, but the chaff he will burn  with unquenchable fire.” We also hear  Jesus say; “I have come to set the earth  on fire, and how I wish it were already  blazing! (Lk 12:49) and “Do you think  that I have come to establish peace on the  earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.”  (Lk 12:51) 

While Eve grasped at Divinity, Mary said, “Let it be done to me.” Bishop Robert Barron

Why would God use a sweet baby to start  a revolution? To get our attention and  walk the human journey right along with  us. The Old Testament is filled with stories of turmoil, pain and dissent and while  God remained faithful to his covenant,  the Israelites were unfaithful and attached  to their sinful ways. We, too, struggle  with the same sins. God knew we need a flesh and blood savior and in an astonishing act of humility and love, He sent his Son as a baby. Someone who was like us, in all things but sin. Someone to teach, heal, LOVE, and lead us to our eternal home with Him in Heaven.  

Not only did we get the Christ child,  but we receive the remarkable examples  of Mary and Joseph, who in their deep  humility said “yes” to God’s plan. Were  they unsure? Yes, but their faith and trust  in God superseded their human fear. For they needed a Savior, too.  

How do we prepare for a revolution? 

John tells us we must repent. Go to confession! It’s why Christ instituted the  sacrament through Peter and the apostles.  He saved us, yes, but our human weak ness requires our human action to seek  forgiveness from a priest. The result is an  outpouring of God’s grace!  

Challenged to give back.

John the Baptist challenged his disciples and us as well, to share our clothing and  food, be satisfied with our wages, and not  to falsely accuse anyone (gossip). These  acts of charity usher in God’s kingdom on  earth because we are all part of the human  family.  

Jesus, Mary and Joseph began the revolution with a simple “yes” to God’s will.  They modeled faith, hope, trust, love  and charity for us perfectly. We, too, are  called to participate with our own “yes”,  practice the virtues and live a sacramental  life. Our example can keep the revolution alive.  

Written By: Tobey Neuberger