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2nd Sunday of Advent - Cycle B

Mark 1:1-8

Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” (Mark 1:3)

Today’s passage starts at the very beginning of the Gospel of Mark. We begin with the witness of two prophetic texts from the Old Testament that announce a forerunner who will go before the coming of the Messiah.We hear that a messenger of God will go “ahead of you,” one who will “prepare the way of the Lord” and “make straight his paths.”

The messenger prophesied is John the Baptist. John is described as a wilderness man “clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist.” Regardless of his image, John the Baptist’s role was not to bring attention to himself, but to bring attention to the coming of the Messiah. John stood at the Jordan River while “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 the Baptist helps lead us in this Advent season to the one who is our Lord, whose birth we await and whose reign in eternity will never end. This is, as Mark puts it, “the beginning of the good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” 

The season of Advent helps prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ through the birth of Jesus and it also reminds us to prepare for his second coming. As John the Baptist stood at the Jordan River and called everyone to prepare the way of the Lord, so must we prepare the way and make a straight path. How might we as Christians prepare for the coming of Jesus? We must open our hearts up to Him. An open heart yearning for Jesus will create a clear and straight path for Him to come into our lives. Our hearts can be opened through prayer, repentance, and by simply listening for his voice. The more we deepen our relationship with Him now, the more prepared we will be to welcome Him at Christmas and beyond. Advent is not simply about celebrating the birth of Jesus. It is about our continual conversion of heart in preparation of the coming of Christ.


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