In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
Jesus comes to us every day in the Eucharist, he will come soon at Christmas, and he will come at the end of time. But what is this desert in which we are to prepare the way of the Lord? Isn't it our hearts, so often busy taking care of what is unimportant: the frenzy of shopping, the Christmas tree, the new decorations (because styles change), tidying up (because the Lord won't come if the windows aren’t washed)... It's worth looking deeper, embracing that road in our hearts, where there is often a drought and no place at all for the Birth of Our Lord. Each year on the Second Sunday of Advent we pray "that temporal concerns do not prevent us from meeting the Lord". This prayer reminds us where and on Whom we should direct our gaze.
How do we do this?
Going before the Lord, John the Baptist preached the baptism of repentance. You don’t change your place – you change yourself! Problems on the outside won't diminish or disappear, but problems within ourselves we can begin to address if we change our thinking. Ask yourself, “Who is the beginning, my beginning? Who is my heaven and my earth?” If not Jesus Christ, then change your thinking! Denounce your enslavement, your sin. Start over! Jesus makes all things new and takes away the sins of the world.
Start with what is essential so that temporal concerns do not overshadow LOVE.
You will find God always close to you - in your life, your heart, your situation, and where you are now. Even when it’s hard to see on the surface, when the heart truly loves and longs for the One who created it, it can accept that the Omniscient One, although He is so close, does not tell it everything. It is willing to walk in trust.
In this remaining time of Advent let's give ourselves a chance to hear God's voice even in the deserts of our souls. Only in the dark of night can we see twinkling stars in the sky.
Br. Bart?omiej Rogula, O.P. | Meet the Brothers in Formation HERE