“Do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones.”
It is easy to get trapped in the roles we play. We often identify ourselves with our jobs, families, relationships, religion, income, state in life, etc… This Advent Gospel reminds us that we are much more than any role we have. We are not our jobs or our families. We are much more.
John the Baptist points out that the roles we play mean nothing to God. In fact, these roles can get in the way. God does not love me because of what I do or because of any of the roles I’ve taken on. “God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones.” These roles are simply the stones that we are called to leave behind when we discover who God is calling us to be. They often become stumbling blocks that need to be cleared out as we prepare the way of the Lord.
Advent is a time for listening to the call of God inviting us beyond the stones that have accumulated over the year. It is a time to reexamine our priorities and see what we have allowed to define us as less that the beloved child of God that we are. Advent repentance is an invitation to prepare the way of the Lord and let go of all that stands in the way of God’s kingdom. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”