Father Tony held his fourth Catholicism 101 of the year this past Sunday. The topic for this session is the season we are in: Advent: In the Tender Compassion of Our God.
The Gospel according to Luke 1:67 begins with this statement. Zechariah, his tongue loosed after more than nine months of silence, first words are praising the Lord. Zachariah is explaining how the birth of his son, John, who will become John the Baptist, is part of God's plan for salvation. The Lord has compassion for all of His children and is called to meet us where we are, and to bring us to salvation.
During this year's Advent, we are hearing often from the Prophet Isaiah. Throughout these passages, Isaiah is speaking to a people who have been exiled from their homeland, and see no way to return. They are losing hope. He reminds them, in Isaiah 40:3: "Prepare ye the way of the Lord: make straight in the desert a path for our God." They are not the ones that will make the path straight, though. The Lord will remove the obstacles to allow Him to draw closer to us.
This is what Advent is about. It is preparing our hearts and removing the obstacles we have created to keep ourselves separately from Jesus. It is remembering as John the Baptist taught, Jesus is already here, just out of sight, but moving toward us. He is moving to meet us at His birth, in just a few weeks. Advent is a pilgrimage toward the God who says, through Him, we have a better life to live.
May your preparations ready your heart to meet your Savior at Christmas.