As the Church began the 2nd week of Advent the Gospel refers to the prophet Isaiah who spoke “Prepare the way of the Lord . . .” (Matthew 3:1-12).
What does this mean for us? Certainly at this time of the year many of us are preparing for the celebration of Christmas. Perhaps this proclamation calls us to stop a moment and remember what we really are preparing for. If you have a special guest coming to your house, how do you prepare? why do you prepare? If you have awaited the birth of your child, how do you prepare? If you are going on a vacation, how do you prepare? If you have a presentation about a topic your are particularly passionate about, how do you prepare?
So, we look forward to celebrate the entrance of God into our humanity – not just 2000 years ago but now! Not just at Christmas, but now! How do we prepare our lives, our hearts, our minds to receive this gift?
This past week the Sisters prepared but making space for prayer – time with God. In order to nurture a relationship isn’t it important to spend time with each other? Several events this week brought the Sisters together in prayer:
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception. This is our Community Feast Day in the United States. On the vigil the Sisters gathered for a simple supper followed by evening prayer in the Chapel. On the Feast day, the Sisters gathered for an evening Mass. This also was the start of an Advent Mission offered at the Sisters Chapel. The mission talks highlighted the significance of faith, being with God without a need to perform, or earn God’s love, but being with God, with a deep belief that God loves us unconditionally. This mission was definitely a good reminder of how to prepare.
A couple of snow storms slowed down our lives, changed some plans, and provided time to prepare whether it was baking more Christmas cookies, decorating Christmas trees, taking time just to enjoy the beauty of the snow, or even waiting at the airport to pick up one of our Sisters returning from Germany.
Sometimes there are opportunities that help us to prepare our hearts and sometimes we have to choose to take the time. We can have our homes, our presentations, our travel arrangements all set, but if we have not checked in with our very being and the Creator of our being, then perhaps our hearts won’t be in it and a great deal of joy might be missed.
As the 3rd week of Advent begins prepare by scheduling some time when you can just be in the moment, to be with God, to listen to your heart.