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Second Week of Lent

Second Week of Lent: Bearing witness about the Light

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.” (John 1:8)

As we commence our Lenten journey of hope against darkness, we are introduced to the figure of John the Baptist. He is described by St John the Apostle as ‘a man sent by God as a witness, to bear witness to the Light that all might believe through him.’

He bore witness to the Light by the following actions:

  1. Preaching a message of repentance – “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Math 3:1).
  2. Practicing a baptism of repentance – “Then (the people of) Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.” (Math 3: 5-6)
  3. Calling for the fruit of repentance – “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance……… Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Math 3: 8;10)

John’s witness prepared the way of the Lord by making his paths straight and after he was put in prison by Herod Antipas, Jesus came to Galilee preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the gospel.” (Mark 1: 14-15)

How desperately this message of repentance is needed today in the very same place that John the Baptist bore witness to the Light, where religious pride, hatred and vicious cycles of revenge are destroying Israeli and Palestinian communities alike.

As we continue our journey towards Easter this year,

1. How can I bear witness to the Light of Jesus Christ in the growing darkness in our world?
2. Bear fruit in keeping with repentance by changing my way of thinking and acting with the help of God’s Spirit?