…into your heart.
“Prepare the Way of the Lord!” This is proclaimed to us by John the Baptist on the first Sunday of every Advent and separately so prepare your hearts! Standard, simple, nothing new right?
Oh I was so wrong, because I’ve always missed putting them together. I’ve stopped to have quiet and have not focused on the commercialism. I have invited family and friends for the season joyous beautiful things that I thought got my heart ready to have a beautiful place for the little King…But I missed the true opportunity of John’s message.
Our pastor with an amazingly gifted homily and, in my opinion, Catechist, Fr Duffy, put it together for us in his first homily of Advent.
“Prepare the way of the Lord!” When a dignitary visited a city in former times they would be carried in a litter. The roads literally would need the holes filled in and the sides straighten and cleared so that his retinue would not fall and drop the monarch!
I could see it in my imagination and if Jesus is our King, and he is – when we are told to “Prepare the way of the Lord” we have to fill the pot holes we have in our hearts, we have to straighten and clear his path so that when we get to Christmas, He can truly get to our hearts. Suddenly something clicked in my head – Wait! It is not just about fluffing up the pillows of my heart to receive Him. John is telling us to make our personal paths smooth, clear and comfortable.
1. Fill the pot holes – where do I have them? Obvious and a given in the Catholic Church – Confession. Set up and ready for us to attend almost without thought on my part, but this time I prayed to the Holy Spirit to know my sins not for just a few hours before and looked at the usual.
I prayed for a few days and asked to clean my soul of whatever was there! Two things I had forgotten about that I was ashamed to admit even to my self I rationalized away as not being sins. After a couple of days of prayer I saw them for what they were – sins, deeply entrenched. I faced them, and in confessional along with the usual I shared them, explained how I got there and shovel, shovel, shovel, filling pot holes started in the path to my heart.
2. “Make crooked ways straight!”
It helped me to straighten a path for some relationships I had explained away as never changing, that also with prayer, showed themselves as crooked that I needed to “straighten out.” And again prayer and I was led to sit down and talk it out and be open or to see with eyes of mercy and “making crooked ways straight!”…
3. Also clear the path
There is still one more blessed week in Advent for us, to prepare the way, I don’t know what I’ll be shown this week, yours might not as much work as mine apparently does 😉 but there is still time. Pray to prepare the way to your heart , listen now matter how it makes you realize you have been, and act in the way the Holy Spirit guides you – “fill the holes, make the crooked ways straight, to clear the way” and when you do, the joy won’t be temporary with the temporary moment and then let down after Christmas. The Joy and Peace will reside in your soul into the New Year and it will be amazing!
I am humbled, I feel a deeper sense of peace, and true excitement that I haven’t felt for this day maybe ever. I can’t wait until Christmas Mass and to embrace that beautiful little King and and to thank Him as He’s changing me on the way to my heart!
Blessed Advent! Merry Christmas and Christ’s Peace to you and your family.