Updated Monday, December 9th 10:00 am
Weekly Virtue Lesson
WINTER SEASON: Week Six
Scripture Verse: Matthew 3:1-3
In those days John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: “A voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.’”
It is already the second week of the season of Advent! The scripture verses above were taken from the Gospel reading from this past Sunday. Just like every other Gospel writer, Matthew writes about John the Baptist and his preaching and call for repentance. Remember, John the Baptist is a cousin of Jesus. God had a special plan for John as he was conceived in his mother Elizabeth’s womb just months before Jesus was conceived in Mary’s womb. John the Baptist went ahead of Jesus proclaiming the coming of the Messiah, just as the prophet Isaiah foretold over 700 years before Jesus was born. In other words, John the Baptist is fulfilling the prophecy or what was predicted to come true. John the Baptist is telling the people just like us to repent or to be sorry for what we have done. Let’s be clear- John is not merely suggesting that we prepare for Jesus’ coming. This John the Baptist is serious stuff. He is asking all of us for a commitment to ask forgiveness for our sins and prepare for the Lord. Asking for forgiveness and preparing are both specific actions. We all need to do something.
Think about your Advent season. What is your plan? Have you committed to a daily prayer journal? Have you been reading daily Advent reflections? Maybe you have been praying a rosary for the needy this season? Have you committed to a project of giving? Perhaps you could help your parents Christmas shop for a needy family. Perhaps you could spend some time visiting with the elderly at the nursing home. Have you reflected on ways to improve yourself? It’s a good time to ask your family to take you to Confession. Perhaps you could attend the Reconciliation service at church.
(Both questions for all grades)
I hear you calling out to me just like you did to John the Baptist. Help me to ask for forgiveness for my sins and prepare my heart for the coming of your son Jesus. Give me the energy to be giving and charitable this Advent season. Most of all, please help me to grow closer to you. Amen.
Say a Hail Mary in honor of the Immaculate Conception.