S e n t i r e C u m E c c l e s i a

"To keep ourselves right in all things, we ought to hold fast to this principle: What seems to me to be white, I will believe to be black if the hierarchical Church thus determines it. For we believe that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Spouse, there is the one same Spirit who governs and guides us for the salvation of our souls..." - Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius [365]

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Second Sunday of Advent -- Make Straight the Lord's Path!

Today, the universal Church celebrates the Second Sunday of Advent. As we continue with our “discipline” of hopeful waiting for the Lord’s coming, our holy Mother Church once again reminds us of the need to prepare more worthily the advent of Christ in our daily lives as Christians.

In the Gospel of St. Matthew, we are presented with John the Baptist’s image of proclaiming in the desert the necessity of preparing the way of the Lord and of making his paths straight! In other words, we are presented with the need to bring low the hills, to turn wastelands into fertile grounds and to erect straight the crooked paths of our lives.

Advent is the best time for us to confront ourselves and to think more seriously about the ideals presented by St. John the Baptist. Perhaps we can ask ourselves the questions: “What are the hills in my heart that I need to level down and flatten?” “What are the wastelands in my soul that I need to transform and convert into fertile soil?” “What are the crooked alleys of my life that I need to straighten up?”

Perhaps, these questions do not just serve as questions but challenges as well for us to grow. Maybe the season of Advent asks of us to bring low and flatten our pride and selfishness. Possibly Advent invites us to change the barrenness of our insensitivity and slef-righteosness to rich fertile soil of authentic concern and care for the others. Lastly, perhaps Advent is calling us to make straight our crooked ways, sinful patterns, and distorted ways of loving, thus making them genuine and pure.

So, as we continue to celebrate with deep joy the season of advent, let us ask the Lord that we may truly be worthy to receive Him in our hearts when He comes back in glory. May we join the universal Church in her prayer:

God of power and mercy,
open our hearts in welcome.
Remove the things that hinder us
from receiving Christ with joy,
so that we may share his wisdom
and become one with him when he comes in glory,
for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. AMEN.


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