Reflection for the Second Sunday of Advent

As we enter more fully in to the Holy season of Advent, out us realize the seriousness of the season and not underestimate its importance. Advent should be for us a deeply religious experience – a time of hope and renewal – not just a festival of shopping, gift wrapping, and decorating. It is during this time that we are give an opportunity to strengthen and deepen our union with Christ. We will welcome Christ into our lives when we open our hearts to his love for us and make room for him through prayer and repentance.
In today’s Gospel , Saint Luke speaks of John the Baptist who calls us to do more than make a simple confession of our sin. We are to make ready the way of the Lord. We do this by turning away from all sinful habits and turning to God and the things of God. God loves us deeply. When we smooth out any rough ways in our hearts, any obstacles we have placed there, the love which God has for us can flow freely into our hearts, and we can love him in return.
John is not the only one who encourages us to grow in the love of God. Paul, in his letter to the Philippians, prays that we will show ourselves pure and blameless for the day of Christ’s coming. The good work which Christ has begun in us should continue until the end of time, as we offer our lives as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.
Let us ask the Holy Spirit to help us identify anything which might stand in our way of receiving Jesus more deeply into our live. We can make ready the way of the Lord and clear him a straight path. W do this when we speak kind words, perform compassion deeds, share our goods, welcome our neighbors, attend to the needs of the poor and neglected, and are open to the urgings of the Holy Spirit. If we are truly sincere in making this season a holy and sacred time, then peace and justice will begin to live among us here and now. As we welcome Jesus, we trust that his coming will be an occasion of great gifts and blessings of peace and love not only for us, but also for the whole world.
Also this week, December 8, we will Solemnity celebrate the Feast of Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The woman God chose to be the Mother of the a Messiah was the Blessed Virgin Mary. She was” full of grace” from the moment of her conception, which we celebrate by the grace of God and the merits of Jesus Christ. Mary was then preserved from sin throughout the rest of her life by God’s grace and her obedience to God’s will.
This feast day and every feast day in honor of Mary tells us that she something important to teach us. Mary’s whole life was dedicated to loving God and being obedient to his will. She lived in perfect union with God. Her holiness was not based upon sophistication, but rather on simplicity, she lived truly with a child-like trust and dependence upon God who gave her great courage and strength.
We can ask Mary to intercede for us that God will give us strength and protection. We can ask her to help lead us into deeper and more intimate relationships with her son, Jesus.
God continues to use Ma as an instrument to reach out to those who are searching for Jesus. During this Advent season, if you are seeking to grow in faith, call on our Blessed Mother for help and intercession, and she will point you and me a closer friendship with her Son Jesus. May you and me find joy, as Mary did, by forming our lives according to the will of God.
May God bless you all,
Fr. Dominic
Your brother in Christ!