“Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths; all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” The Gospel Acclamation today urges us to take action! Prepare! We have been granted a great gift from the Lord; to assist in His work. This work is to prepare all people, everyone, regardless of their status, beliefs, or faults, to meet the Lord.
This may be where many of us stop and say; “I’m not equipped for such action.” We shy away from the Lord’s work perhaps feeling inadequate or ill prepared. This may be time to read the second section of the Gospel Acclamation again: “all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” If we can see the salvation of God at work in the world, we should gladly accept the task of preparation. We see this great gift of salvation at work in our Church, at the confessional and in the Eucharist. We see this gift at work in caring for the poor and needy, in the care of those needing healthcare, in care of the orphans and the elderly. We don’t have to look across the globe to see God’s work in action; it is right here in Central Wisconsin, and it’s not always part of our Church’s ministry. Perhaps you are already working or supporting this work and were not aware that it is God’s work.
Various organizations and charities ask us for our money, time, and prayers at this time of year. Locally, we have Operation Bootstrap, a shining example of people working to assist those in need. Our parishes send gift bags to the homebound, those in assisted living and nursing homes to brighten their day. These are just two examples of local groups seeing the needs of others and taking action.
But in order to do this work we must have our eyes open to the need; we need to see the salvation of God! It’s easy to be blind to this need. If we watch television, we see materialism ruling the day. We are influenced by the many ad campaigns that tell us we need this or that product in order to live full lives or in order to make someone else happy. Marketers do a great job of filling our minds with ideas of the perfect holiday. What this marketing campaign misses is the ultimate reason we are preparing; to receive Jesus as our savior in a more pure and lasting way at Christmas and at His second coming.
It is okay to prepare for our celebration with family and friends, but always keep in mind our core mission, to serve the Lord and assist Him in preparing everyone for the Kingdom of God.