John the Baptiser gets the spotlight this Advent weekend. He was an interesting individual. He dressed strangely and spent a lot of time in the desert, ‘the voice of one crying out in the wilderness’. He had a huge following – the people were oppressed and waiting for someone who would liberate them. John was a dynamic speaker in whom people found hope and inspiration. He points to someone who is greater than he, to Jesus. In his recent encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis writes about the dark clouds hanging over our world and he asks everyone to embrace a spirit of friendship, kindness, compassion and solidarity as we move forward. We need messengers, like John who bring good news, hope and vision for the future, a new way forward.
Let’s use this advent time as we prepare to welcome Christ into our lives and world, to reflect on what type of world can be born out of the wilderness we find ourselves in. Who are the visionaries for you? What are you prepared to do to build a better world?