Prepare ye the way of the Lord,Our brother, John the Baptist, brings us news of the one who will come to set the world ablaze with the fire the Holy Spirit. His voice echoes in the desert of our hearts during this Advent season. A whole year has passed, and during its course our hearts (or my heart anyway) have been weighed down by a year's worth of frustrated plans, incessant worry, and exhausting heartache. Today's readings bring hope that the light of Christ can come into even the darkest places of our hearts. Advent is the perfect time of year to examine where our lives have brought us in the past 12 months, what we have learned, what we have gained, and what needs to be left behind. John the Baptist invites us to prepare the way in our hearts for Jesus to enter in. We get the next few weeks to clear out everything that will keep the light of God from entering into (and from shining out from within) our hearts. For me, Advent is all about finding the dark places where God wants to shine His light and waiting with a joyful hope for the Holy Spirit to breathe fire back into my life and make new those things that have been worn out in the past year.
make straight his paths.
On that day, a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,
and from his roots a bud shall blossom.
The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
a spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
a spirit of counsel and of strength,
a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD,
and his delight shall be the fear of the LORD.