During this great Season of Advent, many of us may get caught up in the “busyness” of the season. With all the temptations and distractions of the season, it is very easy to lose our spiritual focus. The media does so much to commercialize the season, and all too often they influence our actions. Many of us are busy going shopping; we are busy going to parties; we are busy making travel plans. But in the midst of all this “busyness”, are we really preparing spiritually for the coming of the Christ Child?
In our Sunday gospels during Advent, the call to prepare for Christ comes primarily from John the Baptist. He truly wants us to place our focus on the coming of Christ. John serves as a bridge between the Old and New Testaments. He is the last of the Old Testament prophets who point the way to the Messiah. He is the first of the New Testament witnesses and martyrs. Some regard him as a crazy person who lived in the desert, wore strange clothes, and eat exotic foods. Yet there is nothing strange or crazy or exotic about his message. It is very clear; very practical; very prudent; and very challenging. He, in essence, tells us to prepare for the coming of the Lord, acknowledge our shortcomings and failures, repent of our sins, and change our hearts.
With great humility, he acknowledges that his role is subordinate to that of Jesus. John says, “I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of His sandals” and acknowledges that he must decrease, and Jesus must increase. He is the voice urging us to make way for the Lord and prepare for His coming.
As we strive to prepare spiritually for the coming of the Lord, we are reminded that this Sunday, we will celebrate a Mass for the repose of the soul of our beloved former pastor, Monsignor Paul Reynolds at 11:00 am. He shepherded his congregation here at Saint Brigid from 2006 until his death in 2010. He was a priest of great wisdom and insight and truly appreciated the opportunity to serve the people entrusted to his care.
As we reflect on the memory of Monsignor Reynolds and the example of John the Baptist, we know the Lord is ready to come to us. Are we able to avoid distractions and step back from our “busyness” and truly focus on His coming? Are we ready to open our hearts to receive Him? Hopefully, through prayer and discernment, we will truly get our spiritual priorities in order as we get ready to receive Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.