by Khonzumenzi Dlamini
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The year 2020 has been difficult for many if not all of us. From a spiritual, social-economic and political perspective we are on the brink of collapsing. The message we are longing for is comfort, we need to be comforted from all the afflictions we faced this year. As we prepare ourselves to celebrate the mystery of the incarnation i.e. Christmas, we cannot shun away from the fact that pandemic fatigue is upon us. Almost all the people I am closely connected to have lost some of their relatives and friends this year. Some contracted the COVID 19 virus and survived it some could not make it and indeed it has been a very terrible year. It is possible to complain and blame God either for the time we lost and other things so dear to us.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church 785 explains that as the people of God we share in Christ’s prophetic office. By this we are called just like the Prophet Isaiah in the first reading to bring comfort in our society Isaiah 40:1 “Comfort, O comfort my people says your Lord”. These are difficult times for most of the people, everything seems to be collapsing, and there is so much fear. God does not want us to live in fear. For fear cripples us, fear has the ability to disturb our Christian vocation. We are called to bring comfort to the downtrodden. The prophet Isaiah in the first reading speaks of promises of a new future probably to an audience that has faced tribulations. He brings forth a message of hope:
Isaiah 40:9-11 “…O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings, lift it up, do not fear, say to the cities
of Judah, “Here is your God!” See the Lord comes with might, and his arm rules for him; his
reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he
will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother
In the face of this pandemic and different predicaments we have faced so thus far we are advised to fix our eyes unto God, in order for us to find hope, comfort and see the glory of God in the face of all that harms us. Most importantly, in the midst of it all we should stay prepared for the day of the Lord. Isaiah 40:3 “A voice cries out: in the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a way for our God.” This is developed by John the Baptist in the Gospel today, he also reminds us of the imminent coming of Christ. Our different predicaments should not separate us from the love of God. As we wait for the second coming of Christ and celebration of Christmas we should make straight our path, we
should faithfully wait for the day of the Lord, not in fear. In the second reading (2 Peter 3:8- 15) we are encouraged to wait in peace, without spot or blemish, live in holiness and godliness, honest and truthful to ourselves. Our destiny is to be with the Lord therefore our message to the society should be the one of hope and comfort.