“Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way before you.”
We all know these words spoken by Jesus in today’s Gospel refer to St. John the Baptist. With the Spirit of God bursting forth from his very being John came as a light, not THE light, shining for all to see. He came to preach repentance to a people who perhaps had not realized they needed to repent. John’s intense love for justice and righteousness were evident in his powerful words of invitation and condemnation. John gave us two choices: Repent and wait for Him who was to come after John or continue in blindness and ignore the axe at the root of the tree. John came to warn the obstinate and to invite the penitent. All of us in one way or another are blind, but the Lord came so we may see. Through faith informed by reason, and reason inspired by faith we as Christians are able to see the great gift of God made manifest in Christ Jesus. However the ability to see is a gift and a gift is something that we sometimes take for granted. I thought I was able to see. It turns out in my insistence that I could see I actually was blind to the truth.
That woman outside the church that day was a John the Baptist of sorts for me. She was giving me a chance to love her and by loving her to love my Lord and God! But I did not recognize Jesus in her. I causally walked by because I knew she was lying. God forgive my pride and arrogance! Many people that day walked by her but I am responsible for my actions and my actions were deplorable. Yet I learned my lesson. I came to the Lord begging forgiveness, praying for my failure to act as a Christian and show unconditional love for all people.
“Strengthen the hands that are feeble,
make firm the knees that are weak,
say to those whose hearts are frightened:
Be strong, fear not!
Here is your God…
he comes to save you.
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared;
then will the lame leap like a stag,
then the tongue of the mute will sing.”
These words from Isaiah comfort me. God knows we are blind to His Glory, He knows we are deaf to His Truth, He knows we are lame and unable to follow Him; But He comes to save us. The light in darkness shines to overcome the darkness. The Light of Jesus can overcome any weakness or sin. We must heed the invitation of the Bridegroom spoken clearly by the friend of the bridegroom: “Repent, the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand!” That day I was condemned by my own actions as being ignorant of my fellow sister in Christ but I saw my fault, I saw the axe laid at my roots and I repented. I will never, by God’s grace, make the same mistake again. But what does all this mean? What does this have to do with Advent?
Advent is a time of recollection, expectation and preparation. Prayerfully recalling our needs and longings we come to expect fulfillment because we trust and hope in the covenant promise God made with us. God will give us all we need if we trust. As a providential Father, God could never abandon His beloved Children. His love for us is too strong. God will always love us. We are the ones who must act, inspired by His love and strengthened by His grace. How do we act? By preparing to receive the Love which God is always ready to flood our souls with. This time of expectation must not be a passive wanting but an active receiving. As soon as we genuinely desire God HE WILL GIVE HIMSELF TO US! Our expectation for the birth of Christ is an act of faith and faith is first and foremost the response to God’s Love or the receptivity of man before God. God trusts us with his dearest love, His only begotten son. Jesus comes to us as a baby, depending on our love to sustain him in this world. What a mystery of love! God who is infinite put His life in our hands and trusted two people to safeguard him. Our Father gives us the same responsibility this and every Christmas.
That day I faulted at most post. I failed to love the beloved of the Father. This Advent I have been taught an important lesson. I am blind. But God is coming to give me sight. The night is always darkest just before the dawn. And the dawn is coming… Prepare the Way….
Until next week
May God be with you “On the Way to Bethlehem”…
 The Dark Knight