Sunday, December 9
Second Sunday of Advent
Luke 3: 1 – 6
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,
when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea,
and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee,
and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region
of Ituraea and Trachonitis,
and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,
during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,
the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.
John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan,
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
Every valley shall be filled
and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The winding roads shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”
“Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” These words of Isaiah foretold the message and the mission of John the Baptist. This call to prepare the way for the Lord was urgent then and is still just as urgent today. God came in the Person of His Son when the Word became flesh. This is what we celebrate at Christmas.
During these weeks of Advent, it is important that we hear the voice of John the Baptist and respond to his appeal for conversion. Likewise, we are invited to open our hearts to receive the Son of God. Unfortunately, we can easily lose the focus of our faith during these weeks before Christmas and fall into the materialistic mindset of our culture. There are many crooked paths that we can be tempted to walk. We can get off track in our Christian lives, falling into sin, walking along roads that deviate from our faith.
This Advent, let us make straight the path of the Lord in our hearts by examining our lives, clearing the way for the Lord to act in us with His grace. It is important to look at our lives and to see where our choices and actions have not been in harmony with the Gospel. The Sacrament of Penance is a great way for us to heed the call of John the Baptist to repentance and conversion. It is also a time of joy as we prepare for the celebration of Our Savior’s birth.
This week we will also celebrate two beautiful feasts of Mary: The Immaculate Conception on December 8th and Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 12th. Mary awaited and prepared silently and prayerfully for the birth of her Son. May she intercede for us, that we will be ready to receive anew, in our hearts and our whole lives, our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Deacon Paul Zemanek