Praying and giving help us to ‘prepare the way of the Lord’

| Deacon Grant Lacey | December 4, 2014 | 0 Comments

CHILD ENJOYS DRINK AND CUPCAKE AT PHILADELPHIA INN“Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God.” This is a nice change of tone from the prophet Isaiah. In last week’s Scripture, the prophet had a much darker message, dealing with the anger of God and our unworthiness.

But something is changing.

We are all called to take comfort in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ yet again at Christmas.

It is now the second week of Advent, and we are being asked to “prepare the way of the Lord.” During Advent, we can often get distracted by all of the preparations. As a seminarian these last six years, Advent has been a time to finish projects and study for tests — preparing the way for finals. I know that many of us are trimming our houses and stocking our pantries — preparing the way for parties. And all of us are finishing our shopping — preparing the way for presents.

We, however, are to prepare the way of the Lord. John the Baptist was preparing the way of the Lord as he cried out into the desert wilderness, “One mightier than I is coming after me.” John was crying out in that particular wilderness at that particular time that the Lord was there in the physical presence of Jesus. We are being called to prepare the way of the Lord through all of the different wildernesses we experience in our daily lives. We need to prepare the way through the wilderness of our busy lives. We need to prepare the way through the desert of our secular society. Most of all, we need to prepare a way through the wilderness of our hearts. We are called to prepare a way every year because there is always more work to be done. Every year we repeat the celebration of Christ coming into the world once and for all to save us because we need the reminder.

It is amazing how fast the ways — the paths we make for the Lord in our lives — get overgrown. The Church has given us traditional tools to prepare in the spiritual life, the tools of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. These practices not only allow us to follow the Lord more closely in our own lives, but they also make us more open to sharing the Lord with others.

Let this Advent be a time of prayer — prayer for us and for the well-being of the whole Church. Let our generosity this season flow beyond our families to support those in need, those who are hungry, poor and alone.

We are called to be the light of the world pointing out for all that we are living our lives for a greater purpose and are not overwhelmed with the things of this world. We are being called to announce the coming of the kingdom of God, to bring comfort to the afflicted and to praise the Lord continually that we might “be found without spot or blemish before him, at peace.”

Deacon Lacey is in formation for the priesthood at the St. Paul Seminary for the Diocese of Sioux Falls, S.D. His teaching parishes are St. Joseph in Miesville and St. Pius V in Cannon Falls. His home parish is St. Mary in Dell Rapids, S.D.


Sunday, Dec. 7
Second Sunday of Advent

Readings

  • Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11
  • 2 Peter 3:8-14
  • Mark 1:1-8

Reflection
Instead of becoming overwhelmed in preparing for holiday festivities, how can we become at peace in preparing for Christ?

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Category: Sunday Scriptures