Last weekend, I shared numerous suggestions for each of us to engage in during this Advent Season in order to make the most of these short weeks (for example, blessing Advent wreaths and calendars as we did last Sunday, blessing straw for the manger and the Christmas tree that we are doing this morning, blessing bambinelli next Sunday, and so on). And here’s the reason why: earlier, during our opening prayer for today’s Mass, we prayed, “Almighty Father, may no earthly undertaking hinder us, who set out in haste to meet your Son.” We are seeking to move toward Christ with haste. But there are so many earthly undertakings that can hinder us, aren’t there? The winding turns of roadways that take us from this shopping center to another; the rough ways that have us scrambling to this party or that engagement; the deep valleys that provide all sorts of distractions in decorating, cleaning, cooking, mailing, and so much more…all of these things done in the name of preparing for the Christmas feast, but these might just hinder us.
Fly, instead, as the crow flies; make a bee line for the Christ! Cooperate with God’s promises from the prophets Baruch and Isaiah; from our current paths, from our present endeavors, we are invited to stop, lay them all aside…as we set out on a new path and move with great haste to meet the Christ.
- This is the purpose for leveling mountains: to ease our haste.
- This is the purpose for filling up valleys: to ease our haste.
- The purpose for crooked ways to be made straight: to ease our haste.
- The purpose for rough ways to be made smooth: to ease our haste.
In the Advent Season we speed our return to God, we run to find Him as He reveals Himself in a child, we hasten to see the true Lord & Savior…He and only He who even rules over powerful Caesar, Pilate, Herod, Caiaphas and Annas. This is the reason He is born: to save us who need saving!
But we’ll only be able to hasten toward Him and the salvation He brings, if we listen attentively to the voice in the desert, and if we desire to set things aright. If we—in the midst of crooked ways, temptations, and trials—can hear John’s invitation to seek Christ—who is the source of all love, purity, justice and righteousness—then we know He will also be with us until the day of Christ Jesus.
That was our prayer this morning: that we hasten toward the One who has come, who comes again and again, and who brings salvation for the end of our days.
May your paths this week be straight; may no valley consume you; may every hill rejuvenate you; and may the voice of the Holy Spirit remind you always that you are destined to live life with God for all eternity, through Christ our Lord.
A blessed second week of Advent to each of you.