Saturday of the Second Week of Advent
Today John the Baptist is introduced into the readings. As the figure of Elijah, John came to “restore all things”. We read from Sirach that John was destined “to put an end to wrath before the day of the LORD, to turn back the hearts of fathers toward their sons, and to re-establish the tribes of Jacob”. John was the one to announce the coming of Jesus and he did so crying out, “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths.”
We want to prepare the way for Him to come to us. As we continue through this season of Advent for the coming of Jesus, we have our “John the Baptists” to call us into the spirit of preparation and anticipation. Here at the seminary we have begun our preparation for that day. We have set up our crèche (nativity scene) in the courtyard with baby Jesus absent and a few Christmas trees in the halls. In our chapel, the Advent candles have been set out. Our songs and prayers as a community have a tone of waiting and longing, “Wait for the Lord, whose day is near. Wait for the Lord, be strong take heart.”
All these things are our “John the Baptists”, they call us to prepare in our hearts the way of the Lord and to make straight His paths. When we know that we have guests coming to our house, we make sure to clean up and set everything out nicely, so that we can welcome them into our home with joy. So it is with Advent, we have this time to cleanse our hearts and make it nice for the coming of Jesus Christ. And when He does come, we can welcome Him with great joy and celebration.