Prepare the Way of the Lord – Second Sunday of Advent

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Second Sunday of Advent


Matthew 3:1-12

John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea
and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said:

A voice of one crying out in the desert,
Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.

John wore clothing made of camel’s hair
and had a leather belt around his waist.
His food was locusts and wild honey.
At that time Jerusalem, all Judea,
and the whole region around the Jordan
were going out to him
and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River
as they acknowledged their sins.

When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees
coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers!
Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?
Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance.
And do not presume to say to yourselves,
‘We have Abraham as our father.’
For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees.
Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit
will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
I am baptizing you with water, for repentance,
but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I.
I am not worthy to carry his sandals.
He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.
His winnowing fan is in his hand.
He will clear his threshing floor
and gather his wheat into his barn,
but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”


Opening Prayer: Jesus, like John, I too am called to “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” Grant me the gift of fortitude so that I may persevere for you and produce fruit that will last.


Encountering Christ:


  1. A Voice of One?: Do you sometimes feel like a voice of one crying out in the wilderness in your family, in your social circle, at work? It can be difficult to witness in a world where living as a Christian is counter-cultural. But we draw strength from the faithful souls that have gone before us who have also faced the challenges and temptations of this world. We are an irreplaceable link in salvation history and we have a mission. May we fortify our resolve to be the Lord’s mouthpiece through the stories and intercession of the saints who have led the way before us.
  2. Produce Good Fruit with Christ: A tree will be known by its fruit. But fruit doesn’t produce itself. It is dependent on the hard work and diligent care of the gardener who tends the soil, provides light and water, and pulls weeds with care in order to protect the tree and its roots. Jesus tends the garden of our soul.
  3. Baptized with the Holy Spirit and Fire: The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert, which shows us that we need not fear where life leads because Jesus goes before us. We are never alone. The Lord’s fire burns in our hearts and purifies our soul, making us stronger with every challenge and trial.


Conversing with Christ: Jesus, I am overwhelmed by how much you love me. My heart burns with love for you, but my resolve is weak; yet you choose to work in and through me to bring your plan of salvation to fruition. I am humbled and grateful that you have sent your Holy Spirit who goes before me, and I trust that you will open my eyes to the obstacles that keep me from carrying out your will so that I may repent and prepare the way.


Resolution: Today, I will take twenty minutes to make an earnest examination of conscience in preparation for my next confession, where I will repent and receive the grace to get back up and carry on for your glory.


For Further Reflection: Click here to listen to Fr. Mike Schmitz on Making a Good Confession.


Marjorie Davin is a lay member of Regnum Christi of 21 years who has served as director of the Women’s Section in the Washington, D.C., area. She and her husband just celebrated their jubilee jubilee anniversary of 25 years and are the parents of four adult children.

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