A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC
July 29, 2016
June 30, 2020
“Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight his paths!”
December 4, 2014
These are the words of John the Baptist from today’s Gospel. You might notice that in this new Liturgical Year we are now reading the Gospel of Mark. Mark’s Gospel is the first one written and is the shortest of the four Gospels. Mark tends to get straight to the point and doesn't add many embellishments. So these words of John the Baptist recorded by Mark have a message for us today. What might he be saying?
Certainly he is not referring to leveling roads, removing rocks, widening curves—things anyone driving around Sartell in the past six months can certainly relate to. This fall it felt like there wasn’t a straight path anywhere I wanted or needed to go!
As I ponder this line from today’s Gospel I wonder of the message isn’t to prepare the road to our hearts. Could it be that as we prepare to welcome Jesus into our lives anew, we must ready ourselves?
The Church gifts us with the Season of Advent because we need it! In the rush of decorating, baking, shopping, sending cards, and more how can we be as intentional and thought-filled about welcoming Jesus into our very hearts as we are in welcoming others to our homes and
celebrations? It needn’t take a lot of extra time! Here are a few suggestions from Our Sunday Visitor writer, Julianne Will.
“Watch for signs of Jesus all around you each day. Watch for someone to hold a door for the next person, or shovel a neighbor's walk, or help carry something heavy.
Watch for someone to offer a compliment or to share a seat on the train or to give away a treat. Each night at dinner, take turns describing the ways you saw Jesus in others. Watch for ways to be Jesus to those around you each day. Watch for opportunities to say hi to someone who looks lonely or to cheer up a crying child or to clean up a mess that you didn ’t make. Offer these moments up to Jesus in silent prayer at dinner each night. Or write those moments on slips of paper and add them as cushion for Baby Jesus in the manger in your Nativity scene.
Pause and Watch... with nothing to do... Watch for the first star of the evening one night, then read from the Bible the story of the star announcing Jesus birth in Luke 2:1-20.”
These simple acts that can be done by young and old can help us to ‘ready the way of the Lord’ so at Christmas our celebration will be filled with love—love for God and love for one another!