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Advent II - Making Paths Straight

Advent II: Making Paths Straight

I'll begin with saying that John the Baptist was a rather odd man. He dressed strangely, even to his own culture, and he ate strange things. He spent most of his time by the water or in prison, at least, that's what we know about him according to Scripture. But what we also know about him is that people came in droves to listen to him speak. Even while in prison, Scripture tells us that Herod was intrigued by him and liked to listen to him speak.

One of the most prolific scenes about John the Baptist comes during the Second Sunday of Advent (C) wherein John is quoting the Prophet Isaiah. It was a passage with which many people would have been familiar, after all, they were waiting for the Messiah. In this particular case, the voice of the one calling out in the desert was not the Prophet Isaiah; rather, it was John. 

Later in his exchanges, John claims that he is not the Christ; rather, he is not even worthy to untie the sandals of the Christ. We find John always pointing to someone beyond himself. He dresses humbly and eats humbly so that he may decrease and the Lord may increase in him. When he discovers that his cousin, Jesus, is the Christ, he urges his followers to follow Jesus instead.

His whole life, John spent in helping others prepare for the coming of the Christ. He came before Jesus even in birth so that he could prepare the way for his coming. He wants to model what it means to be a good disciple for the people who come to him. His desire is to live a transparent lifestyle so that others may do the same. In the words of the Prophet Isaiah, John desires "to make straight the path of the Lord." 

Are the paths in our lives prepared for the Lord's coming? Do we welcome him? A great indication to how you are doing in this task is simply by looking at the way you love others. Are we there to make their paths straight or do we make their paths crooked?

Readings for Advent Week II