“In Isaiah the prophet it is written: ‘I send my messenger before you to prepare your way, a herald’s voice in the desert, crying, “Make ready the way of the Lord, clear him a straight path.’” (Mk 1). John the Baptist came to call us to prepare for the coming of Jesus. He calls us, not only the people of his own time and place. It is easy to see the Scripture as a record of what happened a long time ago. In fact, John’s sending and our response are renewed in this Advent.
John was a bridge between an old way of thinking about our relationship with God and the new way revealed in Jesus. The same kind of change needs to occur in our lives now. The coming of the Messiah is not a reward for our virtue nor a fulfillment of our ambitions. We don’t “save ourselves” with the aid of Jesus. The coming of the Messiah is a completely free reaching out by God that asks only that we respond to the gift by following God’s plan for us in Jesus.
Keep me aware, Lord, of the difference between using you for my own plan and following yours. Help me to remember that reforming my life means letting you take charge of it.