Gospel Reading and Thoughts for December 7, 2014

Gospel  – Mark 1:1-8

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;

he will prepare your way. A voice of one crying out in the desert: advent week 2

Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.”

John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him

and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.

John was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist.

He fed on locusts and wild honey.

And this is what he proclaimed:

“One mightier than I is coming after me.

I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.

I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

 

During Advent, we are called to prepare.  We know ways that we as a community can prepare for the birth of Christ – Advent giving trees, food drives, toy collections.  We know ways that we, as a family can prepare for the birth of Christ – decorating, baking, reading Christmas books.  But how do we as individuals prepare?  Largely, this is a very unique and personal preparation.  But there are some ways we can all prepare our hearts for the birth of our Savior.

We can work to forgive that person who hurt us.  Even if we never tell them that we were hurt in the first place, we still need, for the well-being of our own souls, to forgive these wrongs.  Find one sin in your life and look for ways to get rid of it.  Pray for others – lift up all those in need – those we know and those we don’t.  Ask God for what grace is missing in our lives – compassion, fortitude, selflessness – and be open to it when He answers the prayer.  And find ways to be more loving to others, maybe even in ways that no one but you will ever know.  God knows our hearts and He is ready to more fully open them to His graces and love.

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