Sisters of Notre Dame California
Advent Reflection Series
Make Ready the Way of the Lord – The Second Sunday of Advent
By Sister Rose Marie Tulacz, SND
The Incarnation continues to unfold in our times. It is as physically perceivable as it was when Jesus walked the roads to Galilee, preached from the boat, and fished from the seashore.
Through the Holy Spirit, God continues to take on flesh again, and sends power from on high to continue to be present with us in this precarious world.
The Christian faith is in the midst of a new paschal mystery: a dying and a rising that will give way to a new hope and a new evangelization. God still has skin on. God is depending on us. By reflecting on our experiences, we come to find God in a deeper way.
Our task, our hope, is to liberate people to become authentically human. True personhood, true humanity, is becoming like Jesus Christ. We make ourselves more human and live in a way truly worthy of human beings by continually ridding ourselves of that which makes us less human.
John the Baptist urged his contemporaries to alter the landscape of their hearts: fill up the valleys with humility, lay the mountains of pride low, straighten the crooked paths, and make the rough roads smooth for the Lord’s coming. The Baptist of today’s gospel belongs to such an Advent of waiting for what is yet to come. He was in reality what we ought to be in our lifelong season of Advent. John was in prison, but he never gave up believing.
We are in Advent throughout our lives, for we await the One who is still to come. Until then, the world appears to be right. The world laughs while we weep. The lowly and poor cry out for help. We too are sitting in a dungeon, in the prison of dying to self, of unanswered questions, of our own weaknesses. Like John we shall not get out alive. But every day we can send the messengers of our faith and prayer to Him “so that by endurance and by the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4). And these Advent messengers will return each time with the assurance of the Messiah: “I am coming. Blessed are they who take no offense at me” (Matthew 11:6).