Preparation – 2nd Sunday of Advent
As the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games opened on the evening of November 30, frustration turned into a sense of Filipino pride after the Philippines, as host, showcased a spectacular ceremony highlighted by cultural performances and pyrotechnics. Controversy gave way to elegance and pageantry in contrast to the challenges it faced in the days leading to the event. Filipinos wowed the crowd, made up of thousands local and international guests including the royal families of the region, with their stunning and world-class performance at the start of the biennial meet that cost the host P6 billion to stage. In fact, it earned the respect and commendation of the international sports community calling it the best SEA Games in the history of this sporting event. No doubt, the key to its over-all success is its thorough and rigorous preparation. In any event, preparation is everything!
One of the brightest and merriest time of the year is Christmas. It is the most expected season of all. Even occasional church goers attend its services like Misa de Gallo because of its music, the lights and the colorful decorations and more. Yet for Christmas to be meaningful and full of significance, serious preparation is needed. Advent prepares the heart and mind to welcome the thousand-old Christmas story. We need to go beyond the spirit of consumerism that saps away the real meaning of this season. For this reason, we need to immerse ourselves in scriptures and prophecies in order to get into the essence of Christmas. After all, Christmas has something to offer for everyone whether you are eight or eighty years old.
John the Baptism stands out as our guide through the Advent journey. His life and his lessons prepare us for the coming of the Great One. In today’s gospel reading, he is described as “the voice crying out in the wilderness.” This solitary figure whose character and mysticism fascinated the crowd gave invitations to everyone for interior change and renewal. This is the way to “make straight the Lord’s path.” Unless the light of Jesus enters our darkness, we shall remain in the dark. And Christmas will be just another holiday in our calendar that comes and goes. We never allow Jesus to make a mark in our hearts.
Prayer:Lord, make me docile and eager to heed John the Baptist’s call to prepare my heart for your coming. Amen.
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