Bulletin Date: 
Sunday, December 10, 2017

What Does it Mean to Prepare the Way of the Lord?

Preparing the way of the Lord can be likened to preparing the soil of a garden to receive new seed. The hardness of the ground must be broken up into loose receptive soil. Weeds must be pulled up and removed, and a place prepared so that the seed can be received and take root and thrive.

John the Baptist used the term repentance to speak of this spiritual preparation to welcome Jesus’ reign as Savior and Lord. Repentance is not mental, emotional, and spiritual flagellation, rather, repentance is turning from the direction we were going and turning toward God’s call of love and forgiveness. It is moving toward the one who calls, with your arms and heart opened wide to receive and be received.

Preparing the way of the Lord implies a readiness to change which in the words of Dietrich Von Hildebrand “might even better be termed readiness to become another man.… To do so, man is not required literally to relinquish everything in the sense of the evangelical counsels: this would be in answer to another, more particular call. He is merely required to relinquish his old self, the natural foundation, and all purely natural standards, and open himself entirely to Christ’s action — comprehending and answering the call addressed to all Christians: ‘Put on the new man, who according to God is created in justice and holiness of truth.’”

“Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,” and opening yourself “entirely to Christ’s action” is the message of Advent. Will you simply acknowledge the presence of the call and pass on, busily pursuing other things? Or will you stop and turn, opening wide your heart to Jesus, welcoming his appearing in your life?

God Bless!! Fr. Elmer