Cycle B Year 2014
Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11; Psalm 85; 2 Peter 3:8-14; Mark 1:1-8
Each year millions of people prepare for their annual vacation if they mean to travel any distance. Once they have decided on their planned destination they spend hours booking hotels, making reservations and reading guide books in order to be prepared once they arrive. Young people know how necessary it is to prepare for those school examinations if they are to get a passing grade. Many hours are spent to prepare for a wedding and even more hours are needed to prepare for a happy and meaningful marriage.
Most of us can remember the many international visits of St. Pope John Paul to the United States and many other international sites. Months and months of preparation went into those visits. Locations and sites for his visit, were cleaned up and prepared for the millions who would gather there to see and welcome him. Altars were adorned with flowers and thousands of people were tutored in their duties if they were to participate in the papal ceremonies. Millions of people prepared for their travel arrangements for their visit to see and hear him. Nothing was left to chance. Anything worth while needs quite an amount of preparation.
We don’t prepare for what has already happened, but only for what is yet to happen in the future. The first two weeks of Advent is a time to prepare for the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ. We do not know the day or the hour when He will come again. Each year the Church gives us time to prepare for this final event in our lives. It is far more important than any papal visit, school exam, or earthly wedding. It is the ultimate event of every human life for which every human being should be prepared. The Jews people were not prepared for the birth and presence of Jesus when He first came over 2000 years ago. Will we be anymore prepared for Him when He comes again in Glory to judge the living and the dead?
If somebody of importance would be visiting your home would you not make great effort to make sure everything was clean, tidy and in order? Why not plan a good confession and make sure that your soul is clean, tidy and in order for the visit of your most important guest, Jesus Christ the Lord. If you are ready to meet him when He comes and are prepared for a life of eternity that He has prepared for you, then you can relax and enjoy another Christmas as you prepare for the Lord who already came as a baby 2014 years ago.
As you listen to the Readings during the Liturgy of the Word this Sunday, pay attention to the times you will hear, said or sung, Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths. Are you prepared and ready to meet Him if He should come again for you? Every day of the year He comes for thousands who will die. He comes when we least expect Him.