Sunday, 5 December 2010

Prepare the way for the Lord

On this, the second Sunday of Advent, we hear the voice crying in the wilderness: "A voice cries in the wilderness: Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight." (Mt 3:2). The first reading raises the expectation of a "shoot springs from the stock of Jesse" (Is 11:1) and St. Paul writes "Everything that was written long ago in the scriptures was meant to teach us something about hope from the examples scripture gives of how people who did not give up were helped by God" (Rom 15:4).

There is a profound atmosphere of expectation... something is about to happen...
This is advent, a preparation for the coming of the Lord. While the second candle on the wreath is lid, we move on along the road to Christmas. It is good to try and make a bit of space for this to enfold in our hearts, we need to give it space. Advent is a special time, a special time of preparation and of anticipation, a blessed time which leads us to the coming of our Lord and Savior... He who is God comes to us in the form of a little child.

Yesterday, in preparation for this reflection I was meditating about the 'making the paths straight'. So I just want to share some of my personal thoughts. It seems to me that it is very easy to get too busy with all kinds of activities. Looking at my own week, there are lots of little projects which are very worthwhile doing. Thinking for example of maintaining the Dominicans Interactive website and creating the video's explaining some of the aspects of Advent, or even the funny video of us having a snowball fight. It allows other people to join in in our contemplation, and allows in some way to share a bit of our lives. And even, now and then, a bit of work needs to be done for college.

But while those things are good in themselves, there is still a need for a balance. Before I joined the Dominicans I experienced the same, that it is possible to be busy doing good things at all times, but that while doing this we can neglect, in a way, our relationship with our Lord, even if what we do is all for Him. It was in the novitiate that I really discovered what it is to have a close relationship to Him to whom I want tot give my live, and the difference it makes. It seemed as a reality I never experience when I was running around trying to do Gods will.

Therefore in the last two days I decided to try and make a change to my day. I put in a bit of spiritual reading, even if only half an hour, and make sure I put in a bit of study of St. Thomas Aquinas (which I really enjoy and gives some new inputs). Almost immediately I experienced much more closeness to God. I guess it doesn't matter how many things need to be done, the one important thing is our relationship with Jesus, as he himself tell Martha while Mary is sitting at His feet.

Advent therefore is a good time to try and make some extra space for God, by making a commitment to do something which gives a bit more direct input into ones spiritual life, something that helps to grow closer to God. It might mean to leave some other important thing undone, but will make space for the most important...

1 comment:

Barb Schoeneberger said...

Luuk, you have discovered what I keep forgetting - there will always be daily chores that have to be done. They will be waiting always. So if we put prayer first, we are putting our relationship with Jesus first. Then, somehow, the rest manages to get done. It can't be the other way around. Maybe it's because God wants us to discipline ourselves to put the spiritual first and make it a firm practice. The Martha/Mary analogy is perfect.


The Irish Dominicans have a website called Dominicans Interactive with online resources. We also have an iPhone/iPad App, which can be found in the iTunes App Store.


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