PODCAST | Second Week of Advent: Prepare the Way of the Lord
On this podcast for the second week of Advent, we reflect on the work of John the Baptist of preparing the way of Lord and how God wants us to become modern John the Baptist’s in our family circles, places of work, on our sick bed, on the sports field, at the party, etc.
The work of preparing the way of the Lord is intimately linked to our vocation that we officially received in Baptism-to live the life of Jesus and to proclaim the Gospel.
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God” (Luke 3:3-6). The latter are metaphors of conversion-allusions to a change—which should lead us to prepare ourselves more intensely for the birth of Christ and, more remotely, for His second coming and the final judgement.
Why did throngs of people follow John the Baptist? He prepared his ministry with time in prayer and penance. His asceticism, penance and piety served as the raw material for the Holy Spirit to transform him to become Christlike in anticipation of the coming of the Lord. When he articulated the words “Repent…” it was the persona and authority of deep love and holiness that attracted people like a magnet.
You may ask yourself: “Who am I to bring the birth of our Lord to others? Who am I to reveal the face of Jesus to others? Who am I to move someone to Christ, to be an instrument of the evangelization of attraction? Who am I to make straight the valleys? I am too flawed and my record contradicts these ideals of the Gospel.”
With a spirit of humility and spiritual outlook, we must let Christ who lives in us through baptism to grow, so that He reveals Himself through each one of us. We need to connect with God, focus on God, amid our daily tasks and activities. We want to keep generous rendezvous with Him—silent time when we can nourish ourselves with the Bread and the Word.
St. Josemaria Escriva wrote, “When I made you a present of that Life of Jesus, I wrote as an inscription. May you seek Christ: may you find Christ: may you love Christ. Three perfectly clear stages. Have you tried, at least, to live the first?” (The Way, no. 382).
We pray to Our Lady: “Mary, engrain, this point of The Way in my heart.” We will approach it little by little. “In intention may Jesus be our end, in affections our love, in speech our theme, and in actions our model.”
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Rev. Peter V. Armenio was ordained a priest of the Prelature of Opus Dei in 1980. He is the author of several books published by Midwest Theological Forum. He also served as President of the St. Josemaria Institute from 2006 to 2012. He has been working in campus ministry for the past 30 years and is currently a chaplain at The Willows Academy (Des Plaines, IL). He also preaches recollections and gives spiritual direction in Chicago.