Second Sunday of Advent reflection by Lori Howard

In this week’s Gospel from Luke, John the Baptist challenges us to repent of our sin and to seek God. This is one of the central themes of Advent - to renew our relationship with God. On our way home from Mass last week, my children asked me for concrete answers as to what it means to prepare in Advent. We are often told to make Advent preparations, that it is a time for spiritual renewal and a time to open our hearts to God. But what does that really mean? How should we prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ?

Here is the great news - we don’t have to seek out God. He comes to us. God is calling us - God is calling you - right now. God wants to encounter us right where we are. We are never unworthy. There are no obstacles - He comes straight to us. But we have to open our hearts to receive Him. I hear the voice of my children again - What does this really mean? How do we receive God into our hearts? Yes, yes, God calls to us. But how do we answer?

We answer God’s call through prayer. Prayer can be hard. Especially if it is new to us. It can seem like a foreign language. If we don’t speak to God regularly, it’s hard to know where to start.  But as Catholics, we have a road map. We start with Mass. Weekly Mass is the foundational place to renew our relationship with God. If you haven’t been to Mass recently, especially in person, please consider joining us again. You are part of our spiritual family and we would love to see you!

Beyond Mass, consider picking up a “Little Blue Book” at the back of church. These have a short reflection for each day of the Advent season. You can open it at your desk during the day. It only takes about five minutes. You can also join us for our Advent Reflection Series. This small-group faith sharing program will feature weekly gatherings via Zoom for individuals to reflect and pray. Or come to 11:15am Mass to hear Father Peter’s Advent preaching series “Rediscovering Christmas”. If you are looking for some quiet time for reflection, join us on Monday, December 6th at 7 p.m.  in the Church for our Taize service, which will offer opportunities for anointing of the sick as well as confession.  (Learn more about our Advent prayer opportunities here.)

God is calling each of us. Answer his call by finding time to pray. Make a straight way for the Lord to your heart to receive the special grace God has planned for you this Advent!