Hopefully your Advent has begun well, and that you have been able to take the time to begin joyfully and prayerfully preparing for the celebration of Christmas. Our Gospel this weekend tells us that “all mankind shall see the salvation of God.”
We hear the familiar call of John the Baptist who calls us to prepare a way for the Lord. John’s call invites us to repentance for the forgiveness of sins, and this is a key aspect of preparing our hearts for the Lord. The invitation is a daily call to start afresh with Christ, putting aside the things of this world, to more readily respond to Christ’s call to prepare our hearts for Him. If we do this, we will grow in love and the prayer of Paul for the Philippians in our second reading will bear true in our own lives and our own communities. Paul’s prayer is that ‘our love for each other may increase, so that we would become pure and blameless and prepare for the Day of Christ.’ And it is this same love that should radiate from the heart of our Parish Community.
When love becomes the heart of everything that we do, we become people of joy who radiate Christ’s love outward into the world. In starting afresh with Christ in a spirit of repentance and bearing the love of Christ in our hearts, we prepare our hearts for the Lord. Yet, this not only prepares us to ‘see the salvation of God’ made visible in Christ, but we will in turn also serve to bear witness to the promise of God’s salvation to others. In a way, we will become like John: a messenger of hope that makes known the salvation of God manifest in Christ Jesus our Lord.
As we journey to Christmas, may our hearts be prepared to welcome the salvation of God, as we welcome the Christ-child into our hearts each day.
I would also like to extend an invitation to all members of our Parish community to the installation of myself (Parish Leader), Fr Geoff (Priest Supervisor) and Fr John (Sacramental Priest) on Friday 10th December at 7pm in the Church.