One way of being well prepared to participate in our Sunday celebration especially during Advent, is to gather the family together, perhaps on Saturday evening after dinner, and read the Sunday’s Readings. Of course, we can do it alone or with friends or join the Lectio Divina group at our parish. When we pray to the Holy Spirit before reading Holy Scripture, He will illuminate our minds and hearts and give us the understanding of the divine message.
For instance, after reading from Isaiah 11,1-10, we may rejoice in hearing that Jesus, the One prophesied by Isaiah, will “not judge by appearances” and that “nor by what is said must he decide, but with justice he will judge the poor and with righteousness decide for the meek”. The rest of the prophecy reveals that a wonderful and happy harmony will one day reign all over the earth. This is not fiction nor dreaming but a promised reality to hope for. This is a reason for rejoicing in the midst of our various daily hardships…
In the Gospel, we might think about the austere appearance of St John the Baptist and his powerful preaching that attracted big crowds over the years. In today’s world, who is like him? Who are the messengers of God sent to help us change our sinful attitudes into seeking to please God and to love one another? Who are the Christians who are the ones who help us to believe, to hope and to love others with charity? Who are the saints, hidden or visible of our times?
Parents for sure, are called by our Creator to be the first witnesses of the love of God to their children, the first catechists, and the first to help them to become holy! Then priests, teachers and catechists and other role models who live in the holy fear of God can act like St John the Baptist today, in our parish, at our work place, in our schools and universities.
John the Baptist is an amazing witness of Christ who only wants people to recognise Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who takes away our sins and our addictions, which prevent our full communion with God and with one another.
During this blessed time of Advent, let us ask our Mother Mary to remind us to set specific times for prayer, alone and with others to encounter Jesus by listening to his words in Lectio Divina (Advent Daily Readings) and by visiting him at the Tabernacle.