Sunday Reflection 4 December 2010

Second Sunday in Advent - Preparing the Way

Last Sunday I attended mass at St.Anne’s Church,Bukit Mertajam celebrated our newly ordained priest Rev.Fr.Martin Arlando.It was indeed a pleasant surprise for me and my family and friends who were there at mass.

Being the second Sunday in Advent, the theme based on the Gospel reading (Mark 1: 1-8) was ‘Preparing the Way’.It was indeed a very appropriate theme in preparation for the coming of Jesus. John the Baptist called for repentance and baptized those came forward to confess their sins. Baptism then was the symbol of repentance which was so important in preparing for the coming Jesus, whom John himself humbly described as someone who is more powerful than me, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals”. Yes, the 2 important things in preparing for Jesus are repentance and humility which many us badly lack.

In his sermon on ‘Preparing The Way’, Fr. Martin touched on the need to bring about the change within us in preparing to welcome Jesus at Christmas. “No point singing Jingle bells, Jingle bells...there is nothing to jingle about if we don't change to receive Him into our hearts” said Fr.Martin.

He went to tell story about an old man who regularly go to meet with and spend some time with his mentally deranged son and his demented wife in the hospital every week without fail. They do not know who he was or why he comes but they are very happy to be in his presence every week. Even the staffs in the hospital are very happy each time he comes to visit his son and wife. An air of peace, tranquility and inspiration is felt after each of his visits and them long to see him again the following week. We too should like that old man, by our actions and words generate such peace and happiness in our own surroundings.

At the end of the sermon Fr.Martin screened a short video clip of the song “Man in the mirror” in which Michael Jackson beautifully sang the lyrics, “If you wanna make the world a better place,take a look at yourself and then make a change”.

It was a touching and inspiring experience that morning, the sermon on preparing the way, the story of the old man and the video clip of the man in the mirror. I left the church very refreshed and thinking what I can do to make that change in my life this Christmas.

Fr.Martin did splendid job of effectively highlighting the need to change ourselves during this Advent. If we are doing something wrong, involved in some immoral relationship or hurting someone, it is time we make that change to repent. If we are angry and vengeful, proud and arrogant it is time we change. Unless we change and repent, Christmas will be meaningless.

The Church should lead in making that CHANGE , emphasizing more on love, charity and compassion and put a stop to the meaningless jingle year in and year out come Christmas.

The Gospel reading and the lyrics of "Man in the mirror" below for your info.

Gospel, Mk 1:1-8

The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

It is written in the prophet Isaiah: Look, I am going to send my messenger in front of you to prepare your way before you.

A voice of one that cries in the desert: Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight.

John the Baptist was in the desert, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

All Judaea and all the people of Jerusalem made their way to him, and as they were baptised by him in the river Jordan they confessed their sins.

John wore a garment of camel-skin, and he lived on locusts and wild honey.

In the course of his preaching he said, 'After me is coming someone who is more powerful than me, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals.

I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.'


Man in the mirror

Ooh ooh ooh aah
Gotta make a change
For once in my life
It's gonna feel real good
Gonna make a difference
Gonna make it right

As I turned up the collar on
A favorite winter coat
This wind is blowin' my mind
I see the kids in the street
With not enough to eat
Who am I to be blind
Pretending not to see their needs

A summer's disregard
A broken bottle top
And a one man's soul
They follow each other
On the wind ya' know
'Cause they got nowhere to go
That's why I want you to know

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make a change, yey
Na na na, na na na, na na na na oh ho

I've been a victim of
A selfish kinda love
It's time that I realize
There are some with no home
Not a nickel to loan
Could it be really pretending that they're not alone

A willow deeply scarred
Somebody's broken heart
And a washed out dream
(Washed out dream)
They follow the pattern of the wind ya' see
'Cause they got no place to be
That's why I'm starting with me

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make a change

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make that change

I'm starting with the man in the mirror
(Man in the mirror, oh yeah)
I'm asking him to change his ways, yeah
(Change)
No message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make the change
You gotta get it right, while you got the time
'Cause when you close your heart
(You can't close your, your mind)
Then you close your mind

(That man, that man, that man)
(That man, that man, that man)
(With the man in the mirror, oh yeah)
(That man you know, that man you know)
(That man you know, that man you know)
I'm asking him to change his ways
(Change)
No message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself then make that change

(Na na na, na na na, na na na na)
Ooh
Oh yeah
Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah
(Na na na, na na na, na na na na)

Oh no
Oh no, I'm gonna make a change
It's gonna feel real good
Sure mon
(Change)
Just lift yourself
You know, you got to stop it yourself
(Yeah)
Oh
Make that change
(I gotta make that change today, oh)
(Man in the mirror)
You got to, you got to not let yourself, brother oh
Yeah
You know that
(Make that change)
(I gotta make that make me then make)
You got, you got to move
Sure mon, sure mon
You got to
(Stand up, stand up, stand up)
Make that change
Stand up and lift yourself, now
(Man in the mirror)
Make that change
(Gonna make that change, sure mon)
(Man in the mirror)
You know it, you know it, you know it, you know
(Change)
Make that change

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