Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths:
All flesh shall see the salvation of God. (Lk 3:4,6)
There have been many times in my life when I have “seen with my own eyes” and still not believed what it was that I was seeing. Magic come to mind immediately. I see something done by a magician and I say to myself, “That’s not real. I know it happened. But I know it’s not real. There has to be a trick to it.”
People tell me of the huge fish that they have caught or the incredible deal they got on a product or a magnificent show that they have seen and I say to myself, “Yeah. Right. The fish is probably medium at best, the deal might be 5%, the show may put me to sleep.”
In short, seeing is not always believing. Because we are in these frail, mortal bodies, we tend to doubt.
“Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths: All flesh shall see the salvation of God.” That clarion call from the Gospel of Luke used as our Gospel Antiphon today reminds us that we have, indeed, seen the salvation of God. However, how often do we believe that? What keeps us from seeing the Lord’s ways as we should? What holds us back?
Quite frankly, the first word that should come to our mind is “Sin”. Sin holds us back. Sin clouds our minds. Sin muddies our sight. Sin hardens our hearts. Sin causes us not to see the salvation of God.
Sin attempts to sway us to ignore God or, even better in sin’s mind, to reject God completely.
We are at the midpoint of our Advent journey. Our minds and hearts might be getting weary of the season. We might want to give up. The social demands of the season are mounting: cards, gift shopping, baking, visits to and from others. All these things keep our eyes trained away from the ultimate goal.
We cannot deny that we have seen the salvation of God. We have not only seen, we have participated in it by virtue of our baptisms and other sacraments. We are not a people of this world. We are a people of the Kingdom who merely live in this world for a short time.
Keeping our minds on that fact will help us to keep our eyes fixed on the Lord and give us the strength we need to continue the journey.
FAITH ACTION: In quiet contemplation today, ask God to help you to focus on Him rather than on the lures and enticements of the world.