John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one crying out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.’” (Gospel for Dec. 5, Lk 3:3-4)
The preaching of John the Baptist reminds us what Advent is all about: turning away from sin and preparing for the coming of the Lord. It’s all too easy to get sidetracked or distracted by Christmas shopping and parties and fail to prepare spiritually for Christ’s coming. My brothers, let us truly prepare our hearts this Advent — and help our families do the same — so that we might fully and fruitfully celebrate Christ’s birth.
Challenge by Supreme Chaplain Archbishop William E. Lori:
This month, I challenge you to prayerfully incorporate both an Advent calendar and Advent wreath into your Christmas preparations. Second, I challenge you to undertake the Keep Christ in Christmas Faith in Action program.
Questions for Reflection:
How can you avoid getting excessively distracted by your work obligations or holiday stress during the weeks of Advent? What can you do to set aside time for prayer, confession and other spiritual preparations for Christmas? How can you lead your family in staying focused on the true spirit of the coming Christmas feast?