One of the main characters of the Advent Season is John the Baptist. He is called the precursor, or the forerunner of Christ, because he prepared the way for the coming of Jesus. Mark’s gospel begins with John’s appearance in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. John knew that sin kept people from God. Our preparing for the coming of the Lord involves repentance. And so, the people came to John in the desert and were baptized in the Jordan River as a sign they were changing their hearts to welcome the Messiah.
How are we preparing for the way of the Lord to make inroads into our lives? Into our hearts? What obstacles has our self-centeredness placed in the way, and how can we remove them? Our Gospel ends with “the One who is to come will baptize with the Holy Spirit.” The Spirit will help us search our hearts and gently reveal our sins to us. That causes us to go to Jesus more often. When we experience God’s forgiveness, we can’t help but be filled with thanksgiving for his great love and mercy. So make it a point to try to get to confession before Christmas, on Saturdays at 4:00 PM, on Tuesday, December 15, at 6:30 PM, or by appointment.
A reminder, that Tuesday, December 8, is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Patronal feast day of the U.S. and a holy day of obligation. Masses on that day will be at 8:00 AM and 7:00 PM.
Saturday is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of the Americas. Take some time to research Mary’s appearance to St. Juan Diego on the Tepeyac Hill outside of Mexico City.
Love, Peace, Joy,