Advent is a time for us to prepare for the joy of the birth of our Savior. John the Baptist came to announce the coming of our Messiah and said, "I am the voice that is crying out in the desert; make straight the way of the Lord."
Let us take this time this Advent to look at how we are living out our lives. Have we found ourselves wandering off the path that leads us to Jesus? What can we do to get back and make straight His path?
Many this Advent may find it difficult to focus and take the time to prepare in the midst of all that is going on around us. It is a challenge but all the more reason to prepare ourselves. It is not a secret that we have a lot of chaos going on in the world. We hear almost every day of violence, mass shooting or trucks used as a weapon for killing of innocent people. We don't know what truth is and what is false. There is so much uncertainty. Many refugees are living horrible lives in camps, some are being sold and many are dying every day. Life could get overwhelming, but it will even be more overwhelming if we don't look to the Light that which John the Baptist is announcing. We may not understand everything that is going on, but when we stay focus the Lord makes it an easier journey.
John the Baptist calls us to repent, to confess our sins. He baptized all who acknowledge their sins. Advent can be a time for us to confess our sins, we have been given this great gift the Sacrament of reconciliation what better time than Advent as we prepare for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. During the Revival this year Father Tony Ricard shared some beautiful experiences he had as a Pastor through this sacrament and the joy and peace that this sacrament brought to those who he invited.
Advent is a good time to make an examination of conscience in preparation for this sacrament. We may need to look within ourselves and ask, "Have I been the cause of some of the injustices that are going on in the world either directly or through my indifference. Maybe it is time to set everything straight with the Lord. Passed sexual abuse and assaults are now being brought out into the open. It could be that we have been the one who has sexually assaulted or abused someone. This may be time to come clean, ask for forgiveness or go to confession. You may be the victim. I know that I can say "#metoo". It is an experience which I will never forget no matter how long it has been. Every time I hear about someone that has gone through it, the experience flashes in front of me. I had to forgive the person so that I could move on but I often wonder, have others been hurt because of my silence.
In making straight His path it could be that we have to stop being indifferent to the injustices in our world. We can't continue this sin. Are we being called this Advent toward action? Maybe being organizers or participate in a group that is working on gun control or a group working toward the unjust treatment of refugees. To make straight His path we must take chances and not be afraid. It could even be as easy as a smile or reaching out to hold someone's hand that is sick or feeling lonely. You may be the instrument the Lord uses to bring another person to know the love of Christ.
Christian's are asked to be the messenger of the love that Jesus has for each and every one of us. He will guide us. Those who walk with Jesus should make His path known to all. To announce the Light who is Jesus to others, especially those who are poor, homeless, sick and lonely. May we prepare ourselves so that we can let others know of the joy we are feeling, the joy that only Christ can give us.
Preparing ourselves well this Advent will not only bring us joy but will bring joy to others this Christmas and all year round. May our light shine so that others may see the Light that makes us all shine. O come, come Emmanuel.