At this point in Advent, the Church wants us to focus on the figure of John the Baptist. We go out to see and hear this charismatic preacher and prophet with all Judea and the surrounding region, which is to say with all the sinners. Is he just like one of our celebrities, or is he a manic religious figure whom we fear or ridicule. We need purification of our ways and a repentance to prepare the way of the Lord. But both are viewed in terms of bearing good fruit, and that fruit is in relationship to our neighbor. As the Advent wreath is lit, so too in a very deep way the whole Church is being called to be “on fire” again for the Lord Jesus. We long for this kind of “peaceful kingdom”, yet we ask ourselves what are we willing to do to work with God in its realization, in practice, in our lives. Our lives sometimes wallow or are ensnared by the anger, fear, hatreds, and in short the things of this world.