December 6


Mark 1:1-8

“Prepare the way of the Lord.”

John the Baptist is celebrated repeatedly throughout the liturgical year.

He especially occupies a central role in the liturgy of Advent, because during Advent the Church does what John taught the Israelites to do:

Get ready for Christ’s coming!!

St. John the Baptist’s example of humility and poverty gave weight to his words when he told people to repent of their arrogance and greed.  The baptism he administered symbolized the people’s desire to turn away from selfishness and be faithful to God’s will…  a desire he could stir up because he was already living that kind of life.

This same interior conversion is ongoing for each of us at Eastside Catholic as well as we strive to become more and more like Christ each day.  The Church emphasizes this part of Christian spirituality during the season of Advent.

Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year, a time to examine our hearts and to remove from them all selfishness, impatience, and laziness, so that they can become worthy dwelling places – wide, smooth, well-kept roads – for the King who is on his way.
And not only should we prepare our own hearts, but also, like John, the sincerity of our repentance should embolden us to invite and assist others to make room for Christ in their hearts and lives as well. 

If John had not announced Christ’s coming with his words and example, many of his peers would have been unprepared for God’s action in their lives;  so too, if we keep Christ’s message, the Good News of Christmas, to ourselves, many of our friends and family will be deprived of the grace of God.

Good News and grace that our sick and hurting world is so badly in need of…especially this year.

Questions to Ponder:
  1. What struck you in this passage? What did you notice that you hadn’t noticed before?
  2. St. John the Baptist practiced what he preached; he showed forth Christ’s message in word and deed. How can we be better witnesses of Christ to our EC community this Advent and Christmas season?
  3. Why do you think God decided to send someone to announce that the Messiah was on his way? Have you ever thought that, as a Christian, you are to be announcing Jesus’ return?  How might you tell others to “prepare the way of the Lord”?