Dec. 15, 2016: Thursday, 3rd Week of Advent
In today’s Gospel once again the fiery and frightening character of John the Baptist bursts on the scene as the forerunner of Jesus. John the Baptist invites us to prepare the way of the Lord. But what is this way?
Jesus, whose coming was proclaimed by John the Baptist, spent time in the desert before beginning his public ministry. That was his way. And there in the desert, while he discovered a deep intimacy with his Father, he also met temptation and so came into solidarity with all human beings. And he came out of it victorious. It is the same path we see Jesus take in his death and resurrection. Since Jesus followed his path to the end, he himself has become the ‘way’ for us who are still on the road.
He is the way we must follow to fulfil to the utmost our vocation as human beings, which is to enter into full communion with God. Each of us is called to prepare the way of the Lord who wants to enter into our life. We must, therefore, make the paths of our life straight so that he can come in.
We have to prepare the way for him, removing every obstacle one by one: those arising from our limited way of seeing things and from our weak will.
We need the courage to choose between our way and his way for us, between our will and his will, between a programme we want to follow (which may or may not turn out) and the one thought of by his all-powerful love. And once we have made the decision, we have to work to make our own obstinate and wayward will conform to his.
How? Those who have become fulfilled Christians, the saints, teach us a method which is good, practical, intelligent: do it right now, in the present.
In each moment, remove stone after stone so that it is no longer our will living in us, but his.
Jesus, make me as docile to you as was John the Baptist, who recognized that he was a messenger of God, a precursor and not the Messiah. I'm afraid that desire for human esteem and a comfortable life may block my ability to follow you today. Through John's intercession, ay I show in my words and actions that you are the Lord of my life. May I act to help others prepare their minds and hearts to receive and welcome you into their lives. Let your first coming not be in vain in our lives, but be accepted and corresponded to, so that we will be ready for your second coming.