by Sister Madonna Swintkoske
The story of Luke is very detailed. He gives data and factual information. But more than this he tells us of hope and trust in a world that is often short of these virtues. We, too, are instruments of hope as we make ready a path for the Savior.
In today's Gospel, Luke names "John the Baptist" as one sent to prepare the way of the Lord, to make his paths straight. December is a season of preparing. We prepare by buying presents, decorating our homes, practicing for Christmas liturgies, buying new attire for Christmas, planning parties. John the Baptist is calling us to prepare in a new way, one in which Jesus and love, not consumerism and self-interest, rule.
Some of us can probably add something -- add prayer time each day, add more caring for those less fortunate. Others of us might prepare best by taking things away. Maybe turning off the TV, computer or cell phones and spending more time with loved ones. Maybe taking away whatever stresses us and makes us cranky is the best way to prepare. We may choose to make peace with someone in our lives or contribute to an organization to help the needy.
Whatever way we choose to prepare, we know Jesus is not dependent on our preparations. The good news is that Jesus is coming. In gratitude we prepare for that glorious day.
by Sister Laura Zelten
"I believe in one God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth" -- Nicene Creed
We begin the Creed by professing belief in God. We believe in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The rest of the Creed depends on the initial statement. The mystery of God who is a Trinity of Persons is the central mystery of Christian faith and life.
As Christians we believe that the Trinity (Father, Son and Spirit) is One, that each divine Person is distinct from the other, and that the divine Person is related to one another in a community of love. Every Christian is baptized in the name of the Triune God.
God, who is always transcendent and beyond complete human comprehension, has lovingly revealed himself to humanity in the history of salvation. In sending his Son, Jesus, God's saving plan of redemption was revealed to humanity. The Holy Spirit inspires and sustains the Church to continue Christ's loving work of salvation, healing, and reconciliation to God.
"Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." --CCC, no. 146, citing Heb. 11:1
Thanks, Madonna, As usual a very thoughtful insight, I'll read it several times this Advent!