Second Sunday of Advent Year B - 4/12/2011 - Gospel: Mk 1:1-8
Beauty shows itself at a different level. We have no trouble recognizing beauty of a material world such as a beautiful flower or a wonderful coloured butterfly. They look beautiful and we enjoy watching them. At a deeper level it is harder to see the beauty of an abstract world. What our eyes can't see; our mind may be able to see. A piece of art work worth millions of dollars but I only appreciate its commercial values, not its artistic value. You could show me a book you love because it gives you much joy but I may not be able to even finish the first chapter. Human beings have the ability to conceal beauty underneath of the works of our hands. Artists and writers are able to bury their ideas underneath of their paintings or print messages that require certain knowledge to decode it.  Without sufficient knowledge we can't see its beauty. There is another kind of beauty, the highest one, one that the eyes can't see and the mind can't comprehend but the heart can, and that is the beauty of faith in Jesus.  The beauty of our faith is for everyone, no discrimination. Everyone is invited to see and enjoy the beauty of our faith.

We are not contradicting ourselves when we say the beauty of the faith is very easy to grasp and also very hard to understand. Many fail to see the beauty of the faith, not because it is in disguise, but because we stop short at the beauty of the work of human hands. We feel satisfaction and dwell on it and refuse to go deeper searching for the true beauty which is the mother of all beauty - the work of the Creator. Beauty of the faith is easy to find for those who find it with an open mind and a sincere heart. Apart from this we might be able to have knowledge of the faith but not its beauty.

Beauty is on display, and on the surface, it is easy to see and most of us enjoy seeing it, but when beauty goes deeper we need to decode it. The process of decoding beauty of the material world may be easy for some and difficult for others. It depends on the ability of that person. Beauty of the spiritual world requires humility and sincerity. We don't love our faith because we fail to see its beauty.

Prophet Isaiah gave some hints that help to decode the beauty of the faith. When our heart is as dry as a desert and our mind ponders at a wrong direction, we can't see the beauty of the faith. The prophet called to remove the mountain of ambition in us that covers the mind to see. He asked us to replace the valley of hatred in our hearts with love that help to embrace goodness and mercy. He tells us to straighten our way of life, be honest and sincere in what we say and do. The prophet asks us to reconnect all broken relationships and befriend again. When we do that we see more than beauty but we see:

The glory of the Lord shall be revealed.

I would like to ask you to do a simple thing. Just stand in front of a mirror when you are unhappy and ask yourself - can the loving God create me that bad or is it because something  makes me appear in that way? Certainly it is not really me, but only an image of me being twisted by anger, ambitions, hatred and selfishness.

Remove the bifocal or multi focal glasses that twisted your image and we are able to see with a heart of compassion and mercy, slow to anger and rich in forgiveness. These qualities are needed to decode the beauty of our faith in Christ.