As we listen scripture readings for Sunday Mass during the year, we listen to the life of Christ as it unfolds in the gospel. (This year mainly through Luke.) Since we are in the beginning of the year, on the Second Sunday of Advent (December 6, 2015), the scripture readings are filled with anticipation and preparation. We will hear John the Baptist telling us: “Prepare; make the winding roads straight and the rough ways smooth.”
We are preparing for a shining moment. It is not just the birth of a baby; it is the birth of a King and the beginning of a very different kind of kingdom.
This call to make the rough roads smooth applies to us both as individuals and as a community. We tend, IMO, to interpret John the Baptist as urging us to look in our own hearts and seek to remove any barriers to the coming of the Lord. While we need to do this we also must recognize John the Baptist was speaking to the Israelites as a people. We hear the ideal in Paul’s letter to the Phillipians.
that your love may increase ever more and more
in knowledge and every kind of perception,
to discern what is of value,
so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,
filled with the fruit of righteousness
that comes through Jesus Christ
for the glory and praise of God.
If we do this as communities of believers, we will soon find ourselves shining forth as a city, state, and nation.