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.
Every valley shall be filled
and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The winding roads shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” (Lk 3:3-6)
Christmas is a huge day for which to prepare. There are all sorts of tasks that need to get done: house cleaning, card sending, cookie baking, tree decorating. There are people that need to be visited. There are clothes to be purchased both as gifts and for Christmas Mass.
In short, there are so many material things to get done that we often forget about the spiritual ones or our spiritual preparations take a back seat to all our other preparations.
This should not be the case.
The prophet Isaiah reminded us that we need to prepare by repenting of our sins. This is much more important than shopping, baking, visiting, or card writing. But for many people, it will take a back seat and, perhaps, never get done.
I am not telling you to ignore all the material preparations. If you do, Christmas will be chaotic indeed. However, I am reminding you that spiritual preparation needs to take place as well. Indeed, it should take precedence.
Our Lord is coming. We must not be caught woefully unprepared.
FAITH ACTION: In the midst of all your material preparations for Christmas, make sure that you use Advent to prepare yourself spiritually. Make a spiritual list, as you would for Christmas, and place on it such things as daily meditation, works of mercy, confession, and the like.