Prepare the Way of the Lord
December 2, 2021
Advent Reflection by Deacon Dennis Holian, St. Joseph, Richmond
During Advent, we are getting ready to celebrate Jesus’ birthday on Christmas; however, the Church also tells us to prepare ourselves for Jesus at all times. 
The readings tell us today in dramatic terms and images: “Prepare the way of the Lord.” Make a good, even road, knock down mountains and fill in valleys. Repent of your sins; stay holy. Your savior is coming. Be ready. This is a good message. 
John the Baptist’s message comes to us today, just like it did 2,000 years ago. The message’s directness makes us feel uncomfortable — it’s almost in our face! 
Repent, prepare, get a grip and get ready. We are all called to proclaim that Christ is coming into the world, not just at Christmas but again at the end of time. 
It’s no time to be a lukewarm Christian. We are called to stand up and show our faith. In baptism, we are all anointed to be prophets to speak out for our faith.
What would the prophets Isaiah or John tell us today? First of all, they would tell us to repent, prepare yourselves and get ready. God is coming.
Their words challenge each of us. Put Christ in Christmas and put Christ back in your country. Be proud to be a Catholic. Show and share your faith, especially by the way you live your life. 
We can decorate our homes, churches, cars and even ourselves with items that celebrate our faith, even if we as individuals cannot decorate public spaces.
Keep coming to church and stay close to Jesus in the sacraments. 
Send Christmas cards this year that profess your faith. Be a Christian by example. Pray and sing — Christmas songs are a great way to show your faith. 
Advent is a time to prepare for Emmanuel (God-With-us). My hope is a season filled with deep meaning, great hope and faithful anticipation for you and your whole family. 
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