Friday in the Third Week of Advent, Year B
18 December 2020
Prepare the way!
Reading: John 1: 6-8, 19-28
Scripture: “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.” (John 1: 6-8)
Reflection: God’s plan was foretold in Malachi 3:1 “behold I will send my messenger and he will prepare a way before me”. John the Baptist fulfilled the prophecy to prepare the way for the coming Messiah, and his presence at the time assured the Jews, priests, Levites and others that God was preparing to fulfill His promise of sending the Messiah. John’s message to the people pointed to the need for deliberate thought and self-examination leading to repentance, as part of the preparation for “The Light” that was to come.
We observed in yesterday’s reflection that John the Baptist was careful not to draw attention to himself or to claim that which he was not. The confusion of his audience of skeptics was made even worse because he continued to baptize despite claiming not to be either the Messiah or a prophet. His response when further interrogated that, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,” though lofty in its proclamation, befuddled them even more.
Do we see ourselves in John the Baptist, the focussed forerunner, the humble heralder, the baptizer, or are we more closely aligned in thinking to the confused and questioning priests and Levites? COVID-19 has provided ‘the way’ that we can use to proclaim and herald the Light of whom John the Baptizer spoke, that same Light who has kept us through adversities past and present.
Our loving, caring, forgiving, and merciful God, has made promises to mankind, that remain relevant and applicable today. just as they were when first spoken. And so, we can rely on His word because of His unchanging character and the evidence in each of our lives (despite the difficulties and the crosses that we must bear) of His mercy and kindness. We can rest assured that He will complete the work He started in and for us.
But. it requires trust on our part. It requires patience and, most importantly, a willingness to listen for His voice when He speaks to us. And He speaks to us in so many ways, according to His perfect timing. None of us know what God’s plan is for us during and beyond this pandemic, but we can rest assured that His plan factors for our wellbeing and will draw us closer to Him, and to others around us to whom we can spread the good news of His Greatness.
Meditation: How and with whom do we share the promises of God?
Prayer: Thank You Lord, that You are the same then, now, and always. In faith, we can look forward to the promises You have made to us. Amen.