Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew
In those days,
appears John the Baptist,
who proclaims in the desert of Judea:
for the Kingdom of Heaven is near. »
John is the one designated by the word
spoken by the prophet Isaiah:
Voice of one who cries in the desert:
Prepare the way of the Lord,
straighten his paths.
He, John, wore a camel hair garment,
and a leather belt around the loins;
his food was locusts and wild honey.
So Jerusalem, all Judea and all the region of the Jordan
went to him,
and they were baptized by him in the Jordan
recognizing their sins.
Seeing many Pharisees and Sadducees
to present himself at his baptism,
he said to them:
“Breed of vipers!
Who taught you to run away from the anger that comes?
Produce therefore a fruit worthy of conversion.
Do not say to yourselves:
‘We have Abraham as our father’;
because I tell you:
God can raise up children to Abraham.
Already the ax is at the root of the trees:
any tree that does not produce good fruit
will be cut and thrown into the fire.
I baptize you in water,
But the one who comes behind me
is stronger than me
and I am not worthy to take off his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
He holds the winnowing shovel in his hand,
he will clean his threshing floor,
and he shall gather his grain into the barn;
as for straw,
he will burn it with an inextinguishable fire. »
Meditation Father Bernard Devert
“Convert, the Kingdom of Heaven is very near”
We probably remember this game when we were children; grown-ups invited us to look for a treasure. The race was facilitated by a guide. When we moved away from it, we heard, it’s cold; then, advancing towards the promise, it’s lukewarm until you hear this sesame, you burn.
Convert, would it not be to thwart the illusions that paralyze us to go towards the Kingdom. To do this, you have to get up. I must admit that, on a spiritual level, I made myself prostheses, these crutches that allow me to stand up, but to go where.
Convert, it is this letting go of what we possess which ultimately possesses us.
Freedom is always a risk that faith does not come to annihilate it but to create.
Jesus reminds us that if we do not become like children, we will not enter the Kingdom. We have to learn to walk and this progress is only made in confidence, not from what we have but with regard to what we are called to be.
This moment is not without arousing an imbalance from which fears and fears to distance ourselves from these figurines which make believe that we are armed for life; only the Kingdom of heaven, this kingdom of the heart, can only be approached by disarming oneself.
In this time of Advent, are we not invited to sign an armistice with the heart. Only then will we get out of these ideas of strength which constitute our fortresses, the alibi of our indifference, to finally begin to see what is right. It is a dive into the fragile.
Now Christmas is the Child God who does not find and does not claim any shelter in order to be precisely the fragile one. He enters the world, offering us to get rid of these keys that lock our lives by adorning himself with the idea that they protect us.
How many deceptive lights that blind.
Christmas is God’s unconditional love for man. He is the Just who never imposes himself. He kindles embers in hearts; when we glimpse them, we discover not without astonishment that some darkness has dissipated.
A trace of this Kingdom then directs our lives, something in us has moved to call us to invest ourselves so that this world is more human. How then not to recognize that the Kingdom of heaven, this kingdom of the heart, is very close.
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“Convert yourselves, for the Kingdom of Heaven is very near” (Mt 3, 1-12) | RCF
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