Second Sunday of Advent 2019

Life and Fruitfulness


John the Baptist, the point of transition from the Old to the New Testaments, from religion to faith, invites us to welcome that love which has now become a Presence alongside us, because love–a gift–can only be received. It is not something to be understood, studied or learned. It is a presence to be welcomed gratuitously. It cannot be merited by a display of self-serving, of false religiosity, in the manner of the Sadducees and Pharisees–the “pious religious” of the time of Jesus and of every time. To these, the Baptist says: “Don’t think it is enough to claim: ‘We have Abraham as our father.’”

It is not enough to simply call oneself a Christian, just as it is not enough to be baptized, attend Mass, recite prayers or receive the sacraments. To simply say “I belong to Christ” is insufficient. Such a claim is not a talisman against the storms of life, nor is it an “insurance policy” against the darker aspects of everyday life. Instead, being a Christian must define, pervade and shape our life by means of a way of behaving marked by goodness, care and forgiveness. It is this that proclaims and witnesses to the world that we belong to the Lord of Life: “By their fruits, you will know them.”

Therefore we must bear fruit–indeed, good fruit–declares the Baptist. And fruit is always the result of what we are. Each fruit is produced by a tree that is firmly rooted in the soil from which it draws the energy it needs.

It is therefore a matter of welcoming, of coming into contact, with Life–the wellspring that dwells in us–in order to experience being transformed, made fertile and able to bear good fruit.

From the book: Ogni storia è storia sacra by Paolo Scquizzato, FSP Editions 2019

Prepare a way for the Lord; make his paths straight!
All humanity will see the salvation of God
(Lk. 3:4, 6)