December 9, 2018
On this second Sunday of Advent, we must prepare for the LIGHT. We do not want to remain in the darkness. We want to be able to see, to be filled with the Light. During this time we are surely preparing for the excitement of the holidays, the festive meal, the gathering of family and friends and the exchange of gifts. We drive through the neighborhoods with eyes wide open being drawn to the beautiful house displays and all of the colorful, twinkling lights. But what about the Light Christ brings? There is no house more filled with lights then the little stable found in Bethlehem. John the Baptist went through the streets not passively adoring the colorful Christmas trees but actively calling each and everyone of us to a special type of preparation.
In Luke’s Gospel for this weekend we hear John the Baptist “went throughout the whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” John is inviting us to repentance—inviting us to change anything in our lives that is keeping us from receiving and accepting the Lord of Life. Repentance is the preparation that is so necessary for a wonderful celebration of Christmas.
Repentance is never easy because we do not want to admit anything is wrong. Confession means that I must be honest with myself. Self-deception is one of those things that often hinder us from receiving Christ. We seem to have lost the ability to deal with our guilt; denial is rampant in our world.
True repentance leads us to freedom—free to love; free to heal; free to comfort and console others. I have to say it is a tremendous experience to be renewed and to feel the loving tender embrace of God. John the Baptist invites us to turn our lives around, to work on our addictions, to move from narcissistic behavior and to stop hurting others. The Sacrament of reconciliation gives us a new beginning and reminds us that our Lord never turns his back on us.
I want to take this opportunity to invite you to the sacrament of reconciliation here in our church as part of our Christmas preparation. On December 18 at 7:00pm, we will offer the Sacrament of freedom and healing, the Sacrament which brings true peace and joy, the Sacrament that moves us from the darkness into the glorious light, the Sacrament of Reconciliation. There will be over 20 priests present to offer a healing word of absolution and comfort. Prepare the Way!
May God bless all of us as we prepare for the greatest gift ever given to any one of us. Have a great week!