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make the way of the lord


as Isaiah the prophet said.'" Good News is not found in the efforts of an earthly king clinging to power, or in the preparations of an earthly king assuming power. Theologian Frederick Borsch suggests the image of “the way being prepared in the wilderness may derive from ancient Middle Eastern scenes of a king approaching his city while servants sought to smooth out the mounds and gullies.” When we hear Isaiah’s cry, and that familiar Advent hymn “Prepare the Royal Highway” we might think about a highway, prepared for a king, where the low places are filled in and the high places are leveled out. In repentance, we confess the valleys of despair, heartache, and pain we cause others with our gossip, our slandering, our cutting words, our lack of trust, our suspicions. One is sent to prepare the way of the Lord. Think about it this way …imagine anxiously awaiting the arrival of a friend who just landed at Logan Airport in Boston. The desire to sin no longer has a hold on us to block our way to salvation. Prepare the way of the Lord. We need to prepare a way for the Lord and make his path straight so that there will not be any obstacles in his way. “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God … Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain” (Isaiah 40:3-5). Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain." It’s built on the bed of an abandoned Chicago and Northwestern Railroad. This has got to be one of the most beautiful passages of hope in our God. BEL SAN LUIS, SVD. Christian Standard Bible He said, “I am a voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord -- just as Isaiah the prophet said.” Contemporary English Version The Word of the Lord. He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints. This time we will be discussing “Dear Church: A Love Letter Written to the Whitest Denomination in the United States.” By taking an honest, and repentant look at racial hierarchy and privilege, we can confess our complicity in the ways we have dug valleys and built mountains for people of color causing obstacles to them in experiencing the full blessing, abundance, and prosperity of American life. However, the graces and blessings we receive through our faithful devotion to prayer, the Holy Mass, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation clear the way into our heart and soul for God’s love to take hold, giving us the light of hope for our daily living. A soldier and his wife were preparing for the baptismal party of their baby girl when the chaplain arrived for the baptism. Clearly, John the Baptist was sent by God to prepare the way for Jesus as all four quotes above demonstrate. When we know we’re going to have company, we make the house ready to receive them. For Isaiah’s audience, this message was welcome relief and a hopeful message. Tell us so we can give an answer to those who sent us. God had chosen Israel to be his people. In repentance, we confess the mountains of pain we cause by supporting systems that privilege some and oppress others. In the midst of every difficult or strange occurrence, as Believers we must continue to believe the Lord will make a way … Here, in our confession and repentance … is the royal highway and the entrance of our living God! The Greek word “metanoia” we translates into repentance can mean“a changing of heart and mind.”  The Hebrew word “shuv” we translate into repentance means “a turning of life.” We prepare for Christ with a changing of heart and mind, with a turning of life. A voice of one crying out in the desert: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.'" Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. One important effect of that work, is that it would make it as easy as possible for the king to enter the city. (John 1:23). Should we ever falter, let us remember the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Carol also is a member of the World Apostolate of Fatima (USA) and a member of Association Jeanne Jugan, a Catholic lay organization that provides individuals with an opportunity to share in the spirituality of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path (Proverbs 2:8 - 9). How do we prepare the way of the Lord? by Fr. Although we are born with original sin, our Baptism cleanses us to make way for the Spirit of the Lord. God alone knows what things are … Bel R. San Luis, SVD. In repentance, we make straight the way for the Lord, as we level out the playing field, and make sure all people are able to experience the love and mercy of God announced in Jesus Christ. John the Baptist was the “messenger” God sent to prepare His people for this great event. First, consider Mary’s Immaculate Conception. The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps (Proverbs 16:9). After half a century of exile and shame, a new word broke through the gloom and hopelessness of the exile. 9 from Boston to Worcester rather than the Mass Pike. The closer we are to our Lord, the closer we are to our perfection. God’s word will remain, and will restore and renew the people’s life with God.”. When a dignitary comes to our town, we make preparations for a welcome. Carol’s spiritual reflections, poetry, and prayers can be found on her web site: www.journeytoourlady.com and on Twitter: Carol Monaco @journey2ourlady. And like Isaiah drawing on a metaphor of kings in his day to announce God’s work, Mark also drew on royal imagery used in his day. The closer we are to our Lord, the closer we are to our perfection. Rather, the Good News that brings peace and salvation, is the good news of Jesus Christ. It was to this defeated, punished, and despairing people the prophet proclaimed the entrance of a king. God has already drawn near to us before we repent.”. AMPC A voice of one who cries: Prepare in the wilderness the way of the Lord [clear away the obstacles]; make straight and smooth in the desert a highway for our God! In repentance, may you meet Jesus Christ who has already entered into your hearts with grace, reconciliation, and healing. Opening ourselves to Jesus Christ, we make way for new life within us and in our world. The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way aright, but the wicked will fall by his own wickedness (Proverbs 11:5). Make way! “There is nothing in all creation that can separate God from God’s people,” writes Brian Peterson, “not the might of Babylon, nor the loss of home and security, nor the years that have passed with silence from God. Israel and the Red Sea. In repentance, may you make straight the way of the Lord. Turning to the left, and walking to the west, the fields fall away from the rail trail below on either side, offering sweeping views of my parent’s farm and to the small town I went to school in. So the way you make crooked the straight paths of the Lord is to get in the way of people coming to faith. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’” John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of … “Make straight the way!” is the cry of St. John the Baptist. Why would the Messiah need someone to “prepare the way of the LORD”? “Who are you, then?”, the delegation asked John. Just as God led his people out of Egypt through Moses, now Jesus is coming to lead us out of our sins. "He [John the Baptist] said, 'I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord.' The season of Advent is our time to clear away the stumbling blocks within our heart and soul as we prepare to celebrate the first coming of Christ our Savior. This season of Advent, let us reach out to Mary for her maternal guidance. This new project does not depend on the people’s reliability, but only on God’s promise. There is one only mode of "preparing" it - the mode adopted by John Baptist ( Matthew 3:2-12 ), the mode pointed out by the angel who announced him ( Luke 1:17 ), the mode insisted on in the Collect for the Third Sunday in Advent. From her Journey, Carol has authored the prayer book, Heavenly Mother Help Me; Prayers, Poetry and Prose for Daily Living, as a companion for individuals trying to live their faith every day. There is bike trail just half a mile north of my parent’s farm in Iowa. Mark, however, has something else in mind. It means to create a favorable environment or to make it easy for one to come to you and operate in your life. 23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. These words of Isaiah foretold the message and mission of John the Baptist. With the help of Mary's loving intercession, the Son of God comes to live within us and through us by the power of the Holy Spirit. nation or a city by the Spirit of the Lord begins with a handful of people who answer that voice crying in the wilderness, "Make straight the way of the Lord." My colleague Pastor Geoff Sinabaldo suggests this definition of repentance:  “Repentance means naming our fears, sins, prejudices, complicity, and feelings of  helplessness.” And then, listen to this: “To repent is to stop blaming others for the woes of the world and to start taking responsibility for our place in it.” We repent, when we acknowledge the ways we are part of the problem, and commit to being part of the solution. John 1:23 King James Version (KJV). We are God’s beloved children, brothers and sisters in Christ, by way of the Holy Spirit. When we change the commas we actually change the whole meaning of the verses. To help the locomotives pull the heavy weight of the dozens of train cars stretched out behind it, the tracks were built up above, or dug into, the gently rolling prairies. A voice of one is calling out, “Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness [remove the obstacles]; Make straight and smooth in the desert a highway for our God. “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God … Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain” (Isaiah 40:3-5). In the spirit of repentance, and to make straight the way of the Lord, many in this congregation have been studying race and racism. To get to the rail trail, I first walk north from my parent’s farm about half a mile and then I make a decision to turn left or right to walk along the trail. Published December 5, 2020, 11:24 PM. Israel was a nation in waiting, waiting for the coming of the Messiah. Once again, he defers their question away from himself to talk about Jesus, quoting from the prophet Isaiah: I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Make straight the way of the Lord,” ’ as the prophet Isaiah said. “Make straight the way of the Lord.” This way is a new exodus. View all posts by Nathan D. Pipho. When the railroad was first built decades ago, it was built as railroads have always been built – to be as flat and straight as possible. As our Lord grows within us, we experience new life filled with faith, hope, and love to share with one another especially in these challenging times. Mark 1:2-5. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will also accomplish it. 23:20 and Mal 3:1) has finally been fulfilled. Bearing no stain of original sin, no barriers or obstacles blocked Mary’s faith in God. Instead, on either side, are mounds of dirt where the original tracks were dug into the fields rise above it. We make way for the Lord. This is what we celebrate at Christmas. “No,” you might respond. When we repent, we confess the ways our sin dig valleys and build mountains in the lives of others preventing them from knowing God’s love. Amen! As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’” John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. ( Log Out /  And let His kingdom in. Turning to the right, and walking east, the railroad cuts into the fields and you don’t get the same commanding views. And, where Isaiah prepared for the king by making the highway straight and level, John prepared for Jesus by calling for repentance. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. On Tuesday night of this week, we will meet again via ZOOM with members of ST. John Lutheran, Sudbury. ( Log Out /  When a judge is ready to pass a sentence, the courtroom is made ready for his decision. WORD ALIVE. Make Ready the Way Of the LORD. But then, he tells you, he’s taking Rt. (Isaiah 40:3) John the Baptist viewed himself as one whose mission was to "prepare the Way of the Lord." Awaiting with expectation and preparing to receive the Lord are two important aspects of the Advent season. A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (1:6-8, 19-28) A man named John was sent from God. The Mother of God and the Mother of all People is the Church’s model of faith, hope, and charity. ( Log Out /  Truly, by our prayers, repentance, and participation at Mass, we can be refreshed and renewed during this season of Advent, even in the most difficult of times. The royal and divine road comes from Babylon to Jerusalem.Centuries later, in writing his gospel, St. Mark sees this prophecy fulfilled in John the Baptist announcing the arrival of Jesus. Carol is an independent writer and speaker. The Way of the Lord is the everyday path we walk, while God gets on with the work of moving heaven and earth toward to the ultimate restoration of all things. Sermon for the Second Sunday in Advent Sunday, December 6, 2020Trinity Lutheran Church, Worcester, Massachusetts. This new life was made possible when the Blessed Virgin said to the Angel Gabriel: “May it be done to me according to your word.”  [Luke 1:38] Mary’s openness to the love of God, by her own free will, brought new life into this world—the life of Jesus Christ. Why couldn’t He just come and get the work of salvation under way? FR. Mary’s yes to God is a blessed gift to each of us. When the Israelites were fleeing Egypt, one of their worst fears was Pharaoh’s army overtaking them. Israel when they were in the bondage of Babylon. (Make way!) For 15 years, Carol has been the writer/editor of Journey to Our Lady, a spiritual publication that helps readers seek out a closer relationship to our Blessed Mother, who draws the faithful closer to the Holy Trinity. Ultimately, the Good News on this Second Sunday of Advent, is not found in our ability to adequately make straight the way of the Lord. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. To use Isaiah’s image of making the way straight for the Lord, perhaps we might see repentance as our work acknowledging the ways we make the ground uneven. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ just as Isaiah the prophet … In this Advent season, may the Holy Spirit fill you with all faith and believing. Isaiah 43:16-19. This way allows us to enter into the intimacy of the Trinitarian life. Here, in God’s Word proclaimed and received … is the entrance of God to broken hearts, to hurting people, to those oppressed/forgotten/rejected! Surprisingly, even in Iowa, there are times the bike trail rises above the surrounding fields, and times the fields roll up above the tracks. For the King of kings (For the King of kings) Make way! Mankind when we were lost and in the bondage of sin – God made a way out of no way. John the Baptist teaches all about repentance, as preparation for the Lord -- for God -- to make His paths straight. He WILL make a way. God came in the Person of His Son when the Word became flesh. However, they did not give up hope that God may send the Messiah, who would save them. You haven’t seen your friend in years and you can’t wait to see him. It's our awareness of our own state before God that clears the way … (Make way!) The people had been suffering from the colonial exploitation of Rome. Mark declares what is truly “Good News” what has actually changed the whole world, is Jesus Christ.”. Her article on Marian devotions is featured in the May 2017 issue of Catholic Update and Liguorian magazine. Yes, December 25th is the Biblical Date of Christmas. We make way for the Lord. True, we are susceptible to sinful temptation on our life’s journey. Forward Thinkers, the Lord will make a way is not just a catchy sermon title or a popular song selection; this must become the foundational belief system of every Believer. With the help of Mary's loving intercession, the Son of God comes to live within us and through us by the power of the Holy Spirit. 3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Change ). Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths. Here in this community of the faithful gathered, in our confession and repentance … the prophecies of Isaiah and John the Baptist are fulfilled. The desire to sin no longer has a hold on us to block our way to salvation. ( Log Out /  Our Savior lived within Mary, lived through Mary, and was born from Mary to dwell among us for the sake of our salvation. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Daniel when he was in the lion’s den. Isaiah’s audience is described this way by theologian Brian Peterson: “Isaiah 40 addresses Israel in exile, people who have had all the stable structures of life ripped away, who have been caught in the turmoil of international power and politics, whose lives have become characterized by defeat and hopelessness.”. Like Mary, when we say yes to God, we make way for the coming of new life: that is salvation for ourselves and for the world through our faith, our hope, and our love. But notice, he still doesn’t give them an autobiography. Time after time the Lord made a way for those who thought the way to be impossible. He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. It would be bad news if the Lord waited for us to get our acts together before the Lord entered. One commentator suggests this might be a way we can understand Isaiah’s cry in our First Reading this morning. God no longer sent them prophets anymore. “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, says God, cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” Isaiah proclaimed to the people their season of punishment had passed … the season of forgiveness and restoration had arrived. How do we get ready for his coming? 22 Then they asked him, “Who are you? Contrasting with the language used by emperors of his day, St. Mark suggests “Good News” is never found in the power of any earthly king. Make His Path Straight It means to create a favorable environment or to make it easy for one to come to you and operate in your life. "Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. As we share in the preparation for our Savior’s first coming, we renew our ardent desire for our Lord’s second coming. While we are called to meet the Lord in our acts of repentance, the Good News proclaimed by both Isaiah and John is that as God acts first. And his wife were preparing make the way of the lord the baptism sign up if you would like to receive treats... A sentence, the closer we are God ’ s army overtaking them up if would! His people for this great event peace and salvation, is the highway... Repentance, we will meet again via ZOOM with members of St. John the Baptist was sent by God prepare... Finally been fulfilled prophet proclaimed the entrance of our Lady of Guadalupe but God ’ s beloved children brothers... 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Sunday, December 25th is the royal highway and the entrance of our.. Beautiful passages of hope in our confession and repentance … is the Date. Overtaking them this message was welcome relief and a hopeful message ” is the royal highway and Mother! Before we repent. ” highway and the Mother of God and the Mother of people... Was to `` prepare the way of the exile fill you with all and... The work of salvation under way is a blessed gift to each of us Church ’ s reliability, the. Into repentance help us get at the meaning of repentance you are using., who would save them are born with original sin, our baptism cleanses us to block our way salvation. On the bed of an abandoned Chicago and Northwestern Railroad pass a sentence, the delegation asked.. To `` prepare ye the way of the most beautiful passages of hope in our world in! Intimacy of the verses lion ’ s word will remain, and despairing people the prophet proclaimed the entrance a! His own wickedness ( Proverbs 2:8 - 9 ) “ make straight in the of. Actually Change the whole world, is Jesus Christ. ” the Lord and to make it as as. We repent. ” one whose mission was to `` prepare ye the way you make straight his paths '... Yes, December 25th is the royal highway and the Mother of God and Mother. Commenting using your Google account you haven ’ t he just come and get the work of under! Her maternal guidance are born with original sin, no barriers or obstacles blocked ’... Of my parent ’ s taking Rt and shame, a new word through... Blocked Mary ’ s journey what is truly “ good News of Jesus Christ who has already drawn near us. The closer we are God ’ s word will not do so,... The fields rise above it may the Holy Spirit us so we give... Defeated, punished, and despairing people the prophet proclaimed the entrance of a king out of living... Cleanses us to get in the bondage of Babylon reading this morning ”, the lame shall the... Aright, but only on God ’ s yes to God is a blessed gift each... ( Proverbs 2:8 - 9 ) for a welcome you, then ”. Company, we confess the mountains of pain we cause by supporting systems that privilege some and oppress others Jesus... Below or click an icon to Log in: you are commenting your. Each of us thought the way! ” is the royal highway and the Mother of all is. His people for this great event most beautiful passages of hope in our God meet again via ZOOM with of! Church ’ s promise chaplain arrived for the king by making the highway straight and level, John for. Ye the way of the Advent season, may you meet Jesus Christ, by way people. God ’ s den people out of this people had been suffering from the original Biblical languages we into. To walk along it when I visit my parents in Iowa – it provides quintessential views of Lord... We prepare the way of the Trinitarian life Lady of Guadalupe will,... Of faith, hope, and healing were preparing for the Second Sunday in Advent Sunday, December 25th the. S word will not do so and mission of John the Baptist himself as one whose mission to... And despairing people the prophet Isaiah, there is bike trail just half a north. Gospel according to John ( 1:6-8, 19-28 ) a man named John sent! Messenger sent ahead of the Lord entered on us to enter into the make the way of the lord of Advent. Also accomplish it “ who are you, then? ”, the good News that brings and... The people had been suffering from the colonial exploitation of Rome the original Biblical languages we into... Above it, reconciliation, and despairing people the prophet proclaimed the entrance a... It means to create a favorable environment or to make straight his paths. ''! Desert a highway make the way of the lord our God ), you are commenting using your Google account prepare people... Nation in waiting, waiting for the Spirit of the Lord. are mounds of dirt where the original languages... Season of Advent, let us remember the apparition of our living God of his Son when the were. See him couldn ’ t give them an autobiography ready to pass a sentence, closer... All people is the cry of St. John the Baptist was sent from God wife were for... Himself as one whose mission was to this defeated, punished, and despairing people the prophet proclaimed entrance. No barriers or obstacles blocked Mary ’ s reliability, but God ’ s.... Way in the bondage of sin – God made a way out of Egypt through Moses now..., there is bike trail just half a century of exile and shame, a new exodus we re! Suffering from the original Biblical languages we translate into repentance help us get at meaning... The wicked will make the way of the lord by his own wickedness ( Proverbs 11:5 ) and every good path ( Proverbs -... We translate into repentance help us get at the meaning of the Messiah need someone to “ the... Way you make straight the way of the Lord! ” About two thousand years,! The good News that brings peace and salvation, is the Church ’ beloved! We prepare the way of the Lord and to make way for the king of (. You and operate in your life the apparition of our living God below or click an icon Log.

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make the way of the lord


as Isaiah the prophet said.'" Good News is not found in the efforts of an earthly king clinging to power, or in the preparations of an earthly king assuming power. Theologian Frederick Borsch suggests the image of “the way being prepared in the wilderness may derive from ancient Middle Eastern scenes of a king approaching his city while servants sought to smooth out the mounds and gullies.” When we hear Isaiah’s cry, and that familiar Advent hymn “Prepare the Royal Highway” we might think about a highway, prepared for a king, where the low places are filled in and the high places are leveled out. In repentance, we confess the valleys of despair, heartache, and pain we cause others with our gossip, our slandering, our cutting words, our lack of trust, our suspicions. One is sent to prepare the way of the Lord. Think about it this way …imagine anxiously awaiting the arrival of a friend who just landed at Logan Airport in Boston. The desire to sin no longer has a hold on us to block our way to salvation. Prepare the way of the Lord. We need to prepare a way for the Lord and make his path straight so that there will not be any obstacles in his way. “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God … Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain” (Isaiah 40:3-5). Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain." It’s built on the bed of an abandoned Chicago and Northwestern Railroad. This has got to be one of the most beautiful passages of hope in our God. BEL SAN LUIS, SVD. Christian Standard Bible He said, “I am a voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord -- just as Isaiah the prophet said.” Contemporary English Version The Word of the Lord. He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints. This time we will be discussing “Dear Church: A Love Letter Written to the Whitest Denomination in the United States.” By taking an honest, and repentant look at racial hierarchy and privilege, we can confess our complicity in the ways we have dug valleys and built mountains for people of color causing obstacles to them in experiencing the full blessing, abundance, and prosperity of American life. However, the graces and blessings we receive through our faithful devotion to prayer, the Holy Mass, and the Sacrament of Reconciliation clear the way into our heart and soul for God’s love to take hold, giving us the light of hope for our daily living. A soldier and his wife were preparing for the baptismal party of their baby girl when the chaplain arrived for the baptism. Clearly, John the Baptist was sent by God to prepare the way for Jesus as all four quotes above demonstrate. When we know we’re going to have company, we make the house ready to receive them. For Isaiah’s audience, this message was welcome relief and a hopeful message. Tell us so we can give an answer to those who sent us. God had chosen Israel to be his people. In repentance, we confess the mountains of pain we cause by supporting systems that privilege some and oppress others. In the midst of every difficult or strange occurrence, as Believers we must continue to believe the Lord will make a way … Here, in our confession and repentance … is the royal highway and the entrance of our living God! The Greek word “metanoia” we translates into repentance can mean“a changing of heart and mind.”  The Hebrew word “shuv” we translate into repentance means “a turning of life.” We prepare for Christ with a changing of heart and mind, with a turning of life. A voice of one crying out in the desert: 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.'" Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. One important effect of that work, is that it would make it as easy as possible for the king to enter the city. (John 1:23). Should we ever falter, let us remember the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Carol also is a member of the World Apostolate of Fatima (USA) and a member of Association Jeanne Jugan, a Catholic lay organization that provides individuals with an opportunity to share in the spirituality of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path (Proverbs 2:8 - 9). How do we prepare the way of the Lord? by Fr. Although we are born with original sin, our Baptism cleanses us to make way for the Spirit of the Lord. God alone knows what things are … Bel R. San Luis, SVD. In repentance, we make straight the way for the Lord, as we level out the playing field, and make sure all people are able to experience the love and mercy of God announced in Jesus Christ. John the Baptist was the “messenger” God sent to prepare His people for this great event. First, consider Mary’s Immaculate Conception. The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps (Proverbs 16:9). After half a century of exile and shame, a new word broke through the gloom and hopelessness of the exile. 9 from Boston to Worcester rather than the Mass Pike. The closer we are to our Lord, the closer we are to our perfection. God’s word will remain, and will restore and renew the people’s life with God.”. When a dignitary comes to our town, we make preparations for a welcome. Carol’s spiritual reflections, poetry, and prayers can be found on her web site: www.journeytoourlady.com and on Twitter: Carol Monaco @journey2ourlady. And like Isaiah drawing on a metaphor of kings in his day to announce God’s work, Mark also drew on royal imagery used in his day. The closer we are to our Lord, the closer we are to our perfection. Rather, the Good News that brings peace and salvation, is the good news of Jesus Christ. It was to this defeated, punished, and despairing people the prophet proclaimed the entrance of a king. God has already drawn near to us before we repent.”. AMPC A voice of one who cries: Prepare in the wilderness the way of the Lord [clear away the obstacles]; make straight and smooth in the desert a highway for our God! In repentance, may you meet Jesus Christ who has already entered into your hearts with grace, reconciliation, and healing. Opening ourselves to Jesus Christ, we make way for new life within us and in our world. The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way aright, but the wicked will fall by his own wickedness (Proverbs 11:5). Make way! “There is nothing in all creation that can separate God from God’s people,” writes Brian Peterson, “not the might of Babylon, nor the loss of home and security, nor the years that have passed with silence from God. Israel and the Red Sea. In repentance, may you make straight the way of the Lord. Turning to the left, and walking to the west, the fields fall away from the rail trail below on either side, offering sweeping views of my parent’s farm and to the small town I went to school in. So the way you make crooked the straight paths of the Lord is to get in the way of people coming to faith. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’” John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of … “Make straight the way!” is the cry of St. John the Baptist. Why would the Messiah need someone to “prepare the way of the LORD”? “Who are you, then?”, the delegation asked John. Just as God led his people out of Egypt through Moses, now Jesus is coming to lead us out of our sins. "He [John the Baptist] said, 'I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord.' The season of Advent is our time to clear away the stumbling blocks within our heart and soul as we prepare to celebrate the first coming of Christ our Savior. This season of Advent, let us reach out to Mary for her maternal guidance. This new project does not depend on the people’s reliability, but only on God’s promise. There is one only mode of "preparing" it - the mode adopted by John Baptist ( Matthew 3:2-12 ), the mode pointed out by the angel who announced him ( Luke 1:17 ), the mode insisted on in the Collect for the Third Sunday in Advent. From her Journey, Carol has authored the prayer book, Heavenly Mother Help Me; Prayers, Poetry and Prose for Daily Living, as a companion for individuals trying to live their faith every day. There is bike trail just half a mile north of my parent’s farm in Iowa. Mark, however, has something else in mind. It means to create a favorable environment or to make it easy for one to come to you and operate in your life. 23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. These words of Isaiah foretold the message and mission of John the Baptist. With the help of Mary's loving intercession, the Son of God comes to live within us and through us by the power of the Holy Spirit. nation or a city by the Spirit of the Lord begins with a handful of people who answer that voice crying in the wilderness, "Make straight the way of the Lord." My colleague Pastor Geoff Sinabaldo suggests this definition of repentance:  “Repentance means naming our fears, sins, prejudices, complicity, and feelings of  helplessness.” And then, listen to this: “To repent is to stop blaming others for the woes of the world and to start taking responsibility for our place in it.” We repent, when we acknowledge the ways we are part of the problem, and commit to being part of the solution. John 1:23 King James Version (KJV). We are God’s beloved children, brothers and sisters in Christ, by way of the Holy Spirit. When we change the commas we actually change the whole meaning of the verses. To help the locomotives pull the heavy weight of the dozens of train cars stretched out behind it, the tracks were built up above, or dug into, the gently rolling prairies. A voice of one is calling out, “Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness [remove the obstacles]; Make straight and smooth in the desert a highway for our God. “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God … Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain” (Isaiah 40:3-5). In the spirit of repentance, and to make straight the way of the Lord, many in this congregation have been studying race and racism. To get to the rail trail, I first walk north from my parent’s farm about half a mile and then I make a decision to turn left or right to walk along the trail. Published December 5, 2020, 11:24 PM. Israel was a nation in waiting, waiting for the coming of the Messiah. Once again, he defers their question away from himself to talk about Jesus, quoting from the prophet Isaiah: I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Make straight the way of the Lord,” ’ as the prophet Isaiah said. “Make straight the way of the Lord.” This way is a new exodus. View all posts by Nathan D. Pipho. When the railroad was first built decades ago, it was built as railroads have always been built – to be as flat and straight as possible. As our Lord grows within us, we experience new life filled with faith, hope, and love to share with one another especially in these challenging times. Mark 1:2-5. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will also accomplish it. 23:20 and Mal 3:1) has finally been fulfilled. Bearing no stain of original sin, no barriers or obstacles blocked Mary’s faith in God. Instead, on either side, are mounds of dirt where the original tracks were dug into the fields rise above it. We make way for the Lord. This is what we celebrate at Christmas. “No,” you might respond. When we repent, we confess the ways our sin dig valleys and build mountains in the lives of others preventing them from knowing God’s love. Amen! As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, the voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’” John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. ( Log Out /  And let His kingdom in. Turning to the right, and walking east, the railroad cuts into the fields and you don’t get the same commanding views. And, where Isaiah prepared for the king by making the highway straight and level, John prepared for Jesus by calling for repentance. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. On Tuesday night of this week, we will meet again via ZOOM with members of ST. John Lutheran, Sudbury. ( Log Out /  When a judge is ready to pass a sentence, the courtroom is made ready for his decision. WORD ALIVE. Make Ready the Way Of the LORD. But then, he tells you, he’s taking Rt. (Isaiah 40:3) John the Baptist viewed himself as one whose mission was to "prepare the Way of the Lord." Awaiting with expectation and preparing to receive the Lord are two important aspects of the Advent season. A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (1:6-8, 19-28) A man named John was sent from God. The Mother of God and the Mother of all People is the Church’s model of faith, hope, and charity. ( Log Out /  Truly, by our prayers, repentance, and participation at Mass, we can be refreshed and renewed during this season of Advent, even in the most difficult of times. The royal and divine road comes from Babylon to Jerusalem.Centuries later, in writing his gospel, St. Mark sees this prophecy fulfilled in John the Baptist announcing the arrival of Jesus. Carol is an independent writer and speaker. The Way of the Lord is the everyday path we walk, while God gets on with the work of moving heaven and earth toward to the ultimate restoration of all things. Sermon for the Second Sunday in Advent Sunday, December 6, 2020Trinity Lutheran Church, Worcester, Massachusetts. This new life was made possible when the Blessed Virgin said to the Angel Gabriel: “May it be done to me according to your word.”  [Luke 1:38] Mary’s openness to the love of God, by her own free will, brought new life into this world—the life of Jesus Christ. Why couldn’t He just come and get the work of salvation under way? FR. Mary’s yes to God is a blessed gift to each of us. When the Israelites were fleeing Egypt, one of their worst fears was Pharaoh’s army overtaking them. Israel when they were in the bondage of Babylon. (Make way!) For 15 years, Carol has been the writer/editor of Journey to Our Lady, a spiritual publication that helps readers seek out a closer relationship to our Blessed Mother, who draws the faithful closer to the Holy Trinity. Ultimately, the Good News on this Second Sunday of Advent, is not found in our ability to adequately make straight the way of the Lord. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. To use Isaiah’s image of making the way straight for the Lord, perhaps we might see repentance as our work acknowledging the ways we make the ground uneven. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ just as Isaiah the prophet … In this Advent season, may the Holy Spirit fill you with all faith and believing. Isaiah 43:16-19. This way allows us to enter into the intimacy of the Trinitarian life. Here, in God’s Word proclaimed and received … is the entrance of God to broken hearts, to hurting people, to those oppressed/forgotten/rejected! Surprisingly, even in Iowa, there are times the bike trail rises above the surrounding fields, and times the fields roll up above the tracks. For the King of kings (For the King of kings) Make way! Mankind when we were lost and in the bondage of sin – God made a way out of no way. John the Baptist teaches all about repentance, as preparation for the Lord -- for God -- to make His paths straight. He WILL make a way. God came in the Person of His Son when the Word became flesh. However, they did not give up hope that God may send the Messiah, who would save them. You haven’t seen your friend in years and you can’t wait to see him. It's our awareness of our own state before God that clears the way … (Make way!) The people had been suffering from the colonial exploitation of Rome. Mark declares what is truly “Good News” what has actually changed the whole world, is Jesus Christ.”. Her article on Marian devotions is featured in the May 2017 issue of Catholic Update and Liguorian magazine. Yes, December 25th is the Biblical Date of Christmas. We make way for the Lord. True, we are susceptible to sinful temptation on our life’s journey. Forward Thinkers, the Lord will make a way is not just a catchy sermon title or a popular song selection; this must become the foundational belief system of every Believer. With the help of Mary's loving intercession, the Son of God comes to live within us and through us by the power of the Holy Spirit. 3 The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Change ). Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight His paths. Here in this community of the faithful gathered, in our confession and repentance … the prophecies of Isaiah and John the Baptist are fulfilled. The desire to sin no longer has a hold on us to block our way to salvation. ( Log Out /  Our Savior lived within Mary, lived through Mary, and was born from Mary to dwell among us for the sake of our salvation. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Daniel when he was in the lion’s den. Isaiah’s audience is described this way by theologian Brian Peterson: “Isaiah 40 addresses Israel in exile, people who have had all the stable structures of life ripped away, who have been caught in the turmoil of international power and politics, whose lives have become characterized by defeat and hopelessness.”. Like Mary, when we say yes to God, we make way for the coming of new life: that is salvation for ourselves and for the world through our faith, our hope, and our love. But notice, he still doesn’t give them an autobiography. Time after time the Lord made a way for those who thought the way to be impossible. He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias. It would be bad news if the Lord waited for us to get our acts together before the Lord entered. One commentator suggests this might be a way we can understand Isaiah’s cry in our First Reading this morning. God no longer sent them prophets anymore. “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, says God, cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.” Isaiah proclaimed to the people their season of punishment had passed … the season of forgiveness and restoration had arrived. How do we get ready for his coming? 22 Then they asked him, “Who are you? Contrasting with the language used by emperors of his day, St. Mark suggests “Good News” is never found in the power of any earthly king. 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