Don't Just Trim the Tree

Maybe this Advent we should trim and burn some tree limbs, not just our Christmas trees. John the Baptist seems to sternly warn religious leaders that people who ignore his call to change will face a fiery judgment. They’ll be like rotten trees cut down and burned. I think John liked to shock people. But for good reason. He lived in a world full of poverty and injustice. He wanted people to face how their sins were hurting the world.
Don’t let John’s harsh words scare you. True, our sinful habits and attitudes are like rotten trees and bare branches. Things like selfishness and prejudice take away our happiness, hurt others, and keep us from working for a just world. But Jesus can help us trim these “tree limbs” from our lives.
We light candles in Advent to remember that Christ can bring light (guidance and warmth) to the darkness in our lives and in the world. We also remember that Christ’s light can burn away what holds us back from our full potential. Take time in Advent to feel God’s compassion in the sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. Or talk with a teacher, friend, workmate, or parent about things you’d like to change. You’ll realise, as you trim your Christmas tree, that Jesus is gently trimming your soul.

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