Prepare the way for the Lord
In today’s Gospel, we note Luke’s attention to political and historical detail. Luke lists the political and religious leaders at the time of John’s appearance in the desert. Why does Luke go to such a great length to provide us with these historical data? Scholars identify two motives: by planting the history of salvation firmly in the history of the word, Luke establishes the authenticity of his account. What he writes is not a work of imagination. That Jesus was born lived, died, and rose in history. Secondly, Luke strongly believed that the message of salvation that Jesus brought was not limited to a particular group or people. All flesh will see the salvation of God,” Luke stresses the universal aspect of God’s salvation.
Today we find John the Baptist traveling in the region of Jordan, exhorting, and inviting every Jews to prepare themselves morally and spiritually to receive the Messiah. As John’s message prepared the way for Jesus, we too are called to prepare ourselves for Jesus’ coming. We respond to John’s message by repentance and reform of our lives. Advent is a season given to us for repentance, renewal, reformation, and reconciliation with Creator. We are called to experience ‘metanoia’- an inner conversion, a turning from evil and turning to good. St Pope Paul VI states, “We must aim above all at an inner renewal, a liberation from the mere following of conventions, a departure in our way of thinking. More than anything else, we must lament our shortcomings before God and the community of our brothers and sisters. We must renew the self-understanding each must have of himself or herself as a child of God, as a Christian, as a member of the Church.”
Prophet Baruch, St. Paul and John the Baptist are all pointers to God’s salvation. Am I a pointer, too? Do my words, deeds, point out to God who comes in our everyday lives? We are also called to be prophets of Christ, who announce by our lives the coming of the Lord, as John did.
Advent is a time of hope, and of openness to change – a change not only in our outfits or approach but a true renewal of hearts and minds. In the words of Cardinal Newman: “To be human is to change. To be perfect is to have changed often.” The Advent season reminds us that we must be always ready to receive the Lord when he comes. We must prepare a straight path for the Lord, removing all obstacles which stand in the Lord’s way preventing him from coming. Let the season of Advent be a time when we look forward with great expectation to the coming of the Lord, trusting that He will do great wonders in our life. Let us prepare ourselves morally and spiritually to receive him.
Behold your God, he is coming.
By Vijay Deivanayagam, OMI
Vocation Team – Central