Get Ready

12-06-2020Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian Manning

On this Second Sunday in Advent, the scripture readings at Mass are telling us something very, very important. The message is clear: the soon to be celebrated Feast of Christmas is a celebration that acknowledges that the story of Christ has not come to an end, in that God's love, commitment, and concern for us are no less evident or real than they were over two thousand years ago. The message of the scripture at Mass is very obvious when we read or hear the words and then ponder them. Get ready in the coming weeks for the Birth of Jesus Christ.

we again bear proclaimed in our church in the first reading's powerful words recorded by Isaiah that our mighty and kindly shepherd is coming and we need to ready ourselves for this long-awaited event. As it is directed in this scripture; we must straighten out our crookedness, smooth our rough edges, broaden our narrow-mindedness, and most especially fill in our gaps with grace. Certainly, at that new point, we will be ready to see and receive "the glory of the lord."

Our second reading informs us that we must do every step of our preparation for his coming and then when complete, start over again. No slacking off or skipping steps. We are to be constantly in preparation for the coming of the Lord Jesus. As Paul tells us, we do not know when He will come, so we must stay in a constant condition of readiness. In contemporary church parlance, we express it with the words "our conversion and change must be constant." we must be as new as the "'new heavens and earth."

The Gospel and the first reading are quite closely linked. Our Gospel writer Made in many ways simply repeats the images and words of the prophet Isaiah. He uses John the Baptist's often mentioned famous "Fives", that is: remembering, reforming, returning, repenting, and reconciling our lives. These "Fives" are the essential elements of being prepared and ready for the lord's Coming.

Our Church provides the Season of Advent is a time of getting ready or preparing the way for our favorite season, Christmastide. Our patience helps us to grow during this Season because the four weeks must elapse until we arrive at Christmas. And during these 28 days, we are given the time to ponder and reflect and also more importantly to grow or change as we need to greet the lord on Christmas Day.