Make Ready the Way of the Lord

12-10-2017Pastoral ReflectionsRev. Gregory B. Wilson, VF

Our scripture readings this weekend are telling us that Christmas never really comes to an end! Great News indeed! Our message in this week's passages leads us to conclude that the story of Christ has not come to an end, that God's concern for us is no less evident now today than over two thousand years ago. The message of today's liturgy is clear: "Get ready!" "Christmas is not too far off!"

We hear in this first reading the great and significant words of the prophet Isaiah. We learn from his words that the mighty Lord, our kindly shepherd, is coming. We must get ready for this wondrous and long anticipated advent. We must straighten out our crooked ways, smooth down our rough edges, open up our narrow minds. Only then we will be ready to see and receive "the glory of the Lord."

Our second reading tells us when we are all prepared and it all happens, start to prepare again! Peter calls all of us Christians to this perpetual preparation. The Lord is coming, but we do not know exactly when. We must keep "the Way of the Lord" in constant preparation for his return. Our life is to be constantly working on conversion to the Lord, that is to always keep growing in faith in Him. Our Gospel of this day also tell us the same. Our Gospel writer Mark does not know more or better than the prophet Isaiah and thus he repeats the prophet's words: "Make ready the way of the Lord." He tell us that we do this by remembering, reforming, returning, repenting, and reconciling our lives. These are grace-filled words that tell us how to be ready for the coming of the Lord.

Winter has arrived in Massachusetts. Roads, sidewalks, parking lots and driveways will soon be slippery with ice or snow. We must develop a deeper level of patience to cope safely and well with this. Every year we must remember this and take lots of extra care. Advent is a time of getting ready or preparing the way for our grace filled and wonderful season of Christmas. It is certainly an annual time that not only tries, but builds up and reinforces our patience. Advent, likewise, points out that that a deep and beautiful Christmas only happens if you take the time to prepare for it. And roughly four weeks is about the right amount of time.

Christmas – New Year's Church Mass Schedule: With Christmas and New Year's falling on a Monday, our Church and Mass schedule tries to reflect what will be most helpful to all of our people. Just a reminder: New Year's Day, Monday January 1st – the Feast of Mary, Mother of God – is not a Holyday of Obligation. The day after Christmas, Dec 26th is meant to be a very quiet day in our Church life. If youhad 14 thousand people to your house for an event, you need a little rest afterwards!