The penitential aspect of Advent is brought to the fore this weekend as we hear about St John the Baptist. He is our model for “preparing the way of the Lord”. Often pictured as clad in rough camel skin, he is the embodiment of what it means to deny oneself earthly goods and comfort so as to make way for the outpouring of grace that comes with the arrival of Christ. We might also consider him as an image of what our heart, mind, and soul should be during this season: focused on seeking purification and forgiveness for our sins, denying ourselves small comforts so that we become more detached from sinful ways and more focused on the Lamb of God Who comes to take away the sins of the world, and pointing other people to the Lamb, not to ourselves. In fact, many depictions of the Baptist have him making a pointing gesture – his whole vocation was to be the great prophet that preceded the Messiah, the one who was called to bring others to Him, and then to decrease while our Lord increases. During this season of joyful preparation, may we all be given the humility, penitential spirit, and evangelical zeal that we see in St. John the Baptist.
I’d also like to say a word of thanks to all of you for so generously answering the call to adore our Lord this Advent! It is such a joy to see those spots full – may it be a source of grace for our parish for years to come! Please know what a gift your time before our Lord is to Him, to yourself, and to the Church. A word of thanks also to all those who helped arrange the adoration schedule, made calls to new adorers, and helped make everything look so beautiful: Pat Vanderpool, Michelle Guthrie, Brenda Sinkovitz, Sherry Gesmundo, Alane Fifelski and many others!