Gospel Mark 1:1-8
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way.
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
"Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths."
John the Baptist appeared in the desert
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
People of the whole Judean countryside
and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem
were going out to him
and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River
as they acknowledged their sins.
John was clothed in camel's hair,
with a leather belt around his waist.
He fed on locusts and wild honey.
And this is what he proclaimed:
"One mightier than I is coming after me.
I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.
I have baptized you with water;
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit"
Prayer: O come Divine Messiah, the world in silence waits the day, when hope shall sing its triumph and sadness flee away. Amen
"Make straight His paths", what does this mean? When winter arrives up here, in the northern states, we all know what that means; a lot of fun in the snow and...a lot of snow shoveling. We have to shovel the paths before things freeze and get 'set' in a a particular shape. Making paths straight takes work. The 'work' we are invited to partake is, in the interior work of the heart-"acknowledgment of our sins and our need of a Savior, for we cannot save ourselves. To make his path straight is to open and clear the way of the rubble of sin, that makes the path obstructed. It is to seek his forgiveness by first acknowledging sin and the inclination to sin in specific areas. Only those who acknowledge their interior poverty, wait with hope and expectation for the Savior, the Infant Baby King, the Divine Physician.
Question: When was the last time you came to the Sacrament of Reconcilation? What is stopping you from going? Fear is not of God. Confession is a place of encounter with Jesus. Mother Teresa always told us, whatever you are too afraid to say, or too ashamed to say, say those things first, or you will loose courage later. The greatest gift we can present to the Baby King-Jesus, is a heart totally open to him, awaiting Him with Hope, Trust and Love.
Come Lord Jesus, come into my heart and bring your Peace. Amen