Announcement Sunday

12-05-2020Weekly ReflectionFr. James Aboyi

If we were to give a nickname to the liturgy this weekend, it would be “Announcement Sunday.” This is because the First Reading and the Gospel are quite similar; both Isaiah and John the Baptist announce the need for preparation for the arrival of the Messiah. The First Reading from Prophet Isaiah begins with, “Comfort my people.” What a beautiful message! God gave the Prophet Isaiah the privilege to see the future events that preceded the arrival of the Messiah. He heard the voice of someone crying out in the desert, calling people to repent, preparing them for the coming of the Messiah.

His prophecy was clearly fulfilled more than 700 years later in the person of John the Baptist. As foretold, John the Baptist did not only call people to repentance in preparation for the coming of the Lord, he also had the honor of baptizing the people to wash away their sins in the River Jordan.

The Reading uses significant images of the desert, mountains and valleys to communicate a special message to us about how to better prepare ourselves for the coming of the Lord. Calling the people into the desert is a way of inviting us to step out of our busy routines and the distractions of the holiday season in order to find time to be with the Lord. We can do this by setting aside a special time for daily prayers or participating in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament within this season of Advent. Similarly, leveling the mountains and filling up the valleys in our lives is a way of inviting us to take time this Advent season to identify distractions that keep us from having a full and fruitful spiritual life. We are invited to give all of our worries to the Lord this Advent; let us ask Him to help us discern how to ‘level the mountains’ and ‘fill up the valleys’ in our lives so that we may faithfully await the coming of Christ.

Thank you and remain blessed,

Fr. James

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