Preparing for Christ
Since Advent is a season of hope, then perhaps this would be a good time to ask God to help us put aside any obstacles in our lives that prevent us from fully welcoming Christ in each person. The Psalmist says: Those who are sowing in tears will sing when they reap. We need to have a vision of what could be. We know that when we are looking forward to something it can help to change the present difficult situation that we live in. Hope can dramatically affect the life that we are now living. When we are around hopeful people then life is different. Isolation is a trap that we have to avoid. If we cut ourselves off from people that see differently, we may become very narrow minded and lose the ability to imagine that things could be different. Advent is a season when we are encouraged to dream and hope...to imagine what could be.
Advent – week 2 – John the Baptist
Who is John the Baptist and what is the significance of his message for our lives? In dramatic fashion Luke tells us when John came on the world scene. The world's rulers paled in reference to this son of a priest whose task was to make the way for the King who is above all other kings. John stood at a pivotal juncture in the history of God's dealing with his people. He bridged the Old and New Testaments. John was a prophet, a spokesman for God. "The word of God came to John in the wilderness." John was pre-eminently the servant of the Word, the Word of God who became flesh for our sake and for our salvation. Why was he in the wilderness? John was called from an early age to devote himself to prayer and to the word of God. God taught him in the solitude of the desert and prepared him for a prophetic ministry to turn the hearts of his people to receive their long-awaited Messiah. He is the last of the Old Testament prophets who point the way to the coming of the Messiah. He is the first of the new Testament witnesses and martyrs who suffered on account of his witness to Christ. When a king toured his kingdom, he sent his courier ahead to prepare the way. John is the courier of the Messianic King who comes to usher in the kingdom or reign of God. Isaiah had long ago prophesied the role of the Forerunner of the Messiah. John undoubtedly took this word to heart as he searched the scriptures and reflected on the word of the Lord in the wilderness. How does one prepare for the coming of the King and his heavenly kingdom? By conversion – turning our hearts and minds from sin and rebellion, indifference and skepticism, to trust and obedience to God's word. Luke's gospel emphasizes the universal call of the gospel to all peoples without distinction. He quotes from the prophet Isaiah that "all flesh shall see the salvation of God." John stood at the door of a new era of grace and salvation. He saw from a distance what Jesus the Messiah would accomplish through his death and resurrection – pardon for our sins and eternal life for all who would believe in his name.
Please refer to the insert for the schedules of all events and Mass times.