Sharing Our Faith
Reflections from Father Mike
Second Week of Advent
December 9, 2018
. . . John the Baptist’s message comes to us today as a visual image of human weakness, yet also shows us an image of virtue. He pleads with us to, “prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
What grudges and unforgiveness has our self-righteousness and self-centeredness turned into mountains. What sinful habits have we made into deep valleys and festering swamps? How has our pride, greed, and self-centeredness taken us onto crocked, winding, and dangerous paths?
John is calling us:
To forgive and to not make mountains out of little molehills.
To seek the sacrament of reconciliation to help fill the valleys and drain the swamps of our sinful.
To seek the straight path of love of God and neighbor, so we are less likely to get lost on life’s crocked paths.
Some of us can probably add something for advent. Like more prayer time each day, or maybe trying to be more caring to those that are different. Some of us can also probably remove something for advent. Maybe turning off that TV and other devices, and spending more time with our families and friends.
. . . Take some time this advent season, to absorb into our hearts the words of John. For we are all called to prepare the way, for our Lord to come into our hearts.
Oh Lord, help us, to follow John the Baptist’s example, by helping others who are in need, out of our love for them. Help us, to count it an honor to love and serve our neighbors. Help us, to make room joyfully in our hearts for the coming of our savior.
First Week of Advent
December 2, 2018
. . . We are to stay awake, to be prepared, to be ready.
We are to prepare anew our hearts to receive our Lord. We are to be vigilant in not allowing consumerism and materialism to distract us from our journey. We are also to quiet our hearts and minds so, we can hear the gentle voice of our Lord. To allow his birth to inspire us to share our love for him with others. . .
. . . our hearts can be like a manger. A place where our Lord can nourish us, and others. But before this can take place, our hearts must first be prepared to receive him. He cannot come into the manger of our hearts, if there is no room. Often our hearts are filled with anger, anxiety, selfishness, prejudice, and un-repented sins. When our hearts are filled with these things, then there is no room for the one we should most desire to be with us.
During this Advent season, our Lord wants us to seek an encounter with him. To prepare our hearts for his coming. To be vigilant, and to not get distracted in our preparation for him. To clean and prepare for him, the manger of our hearts. It will not be easy to accomplish this preparation, for we all get easily distracted. So pray, and seek out our Blessed Mother’s help, for she too prepared a manger for our savior. When our manger is ready, then invite baby Jesus to come and stay within our hearts. For he will fill our hearts with great joy. Then take that joy, and share it with others.