This week and next, John the Baptist appears on the scene to prepare the people of his time for the coming of Christ (Luke 3:1-6). None of us needs much urging to prepare for Christ’s coming at Christmas. We shop, bake, decorate, and send cards. And while all of that helps put us in the right and generous mood for Christmas, more is required to prepare us for Christ. There are spiritual preparations called for by John the Baptist. We need to level the mountains of pride, arrogance, and greed in our hearts and fill in the valleys of spiritual laziness (sloth) and indifference to the needs of others.
We are called to expand our hearts in generosity to God and neighbor.
Some ways to do this are through family prayer, attend an extra Mass during the week, giving alms or a gift to the poor and needy, or reading a short continuing section from the Gospel of Luke each night before bed. And certainly the most important thing as John proclaims is repentance for the forgiveness of sins through the Sacrament of Confession available each Saturday afternoon from 3:30-4:30pm or by making an appointment with Fr. Carl at the rectory.
May you have a blessed Advent which will lead to a truly Merry Christmas.