The Good News for the Day, December 9 2018 The Second Sunday of Advent (164) During the 15th year of the rule of Emperor Tiberias (around the year 30), Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, there was a four-fold division of the land: Herod ruled a fourth as tetrarch of Galilee, Herod’s brother Philip ruled a fourth as tetrarch of the countrysides of Ituraea and Trachonitis, Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilen (it was during the high priesthood shared by Annas and Caiaphas)—the Word of God came to John, (son of Zechariah) out in the desert. John moved throughout the whole remote region around the Jordan River, proclaiming an immersion-baptism of change that would wash away and forgive sins. [This is how it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah A voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord, straighten his pathways. Every dip will get filled up, every mountain and mound made low. The curvy roads will get straightened, rough ways smoothed out, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”] (Luke 3) The start – the true start – of so many things – maturity, adulthood, faith, salvation, and true inner joy – these start right here! “The word of the Lord” comes to you. Not a thunder from Mount Sinai; Usually not even by a preacher’s sermon; nor by any preparation on your part. On the contrary, the word of the Lord just comes—a gift. The “word of the Lord” comes the moment you wake up and see the world outside yourself, realize your own small part in it—both good and bad, both virtuous and sinful—and then that you need a new direction! Your life up to that turning point may have no big guilt. It is just that you had been sleepwalking – unaware of your influence on your world and of the impact, the control, that the world around you has on you. You had not yet become a person, you were just a product, a puppet of others. But at some point, you have realized that ignoring the world around you implies your false superiority, your fear, and your immaturity. One you looked closely, you regretted your contempt for so much of value. You began to realize like a road builder you needed to change the terrain of your life –to fix the path you were traveling, and start anew You have discovered – often with great peace, great joy! – that you are a loved person, surrounded by gifts, and enriched by beauty, kindness, and love. Repentance doesn’t have to mean negative practices of self-denial; it means choosing a better way of Life, moving towards a brighter horizon. Advent means waking up to ever-fresh discovery of how wonderful life is, how you can face it, how you can choose courage, find the right way to go--now that you have chose to face truth and Live deliberately. Repentance is the Good News in Real Life.