Working with the Word
Focusing the Gospel
Key words and phrases: way of the Lord, John the Baptist appeared in the desert, he will baptize you the Holy Spirit
To the point: In the gospel we are admonished to prepare the “way of the Lord.” What is this “way of the Lord”? It is a life of “holiness and devotion” (Second Reading), a life of “repentance” and “forgiveness" (Gospel), and a life of hearing the “glad tidings” of God's salvation and announcing this “good news” (First Reading) to the world. This is the way John the Baptist lived; this is the way of life into which Christ baptizes us with the Holy Spirit.
Connecting the Gospel …
… to the First Reading: The “way of the Lord” announced by Isaiah and John will only be fully realized when Christ's second coming ushers in a “new heavens and a new earth. ” What we do now—how we prepare for the coming of the Lord and live every day—is hastening what is to come.
… to experience: Regularly we hear news reports about people who do extraordinary things: a firefighter saves a child from a burning building, a parent goes without food to feed the child, or a missionary gives her life for the poor of a third world country. John the Baptist was surely an extraordinary man—from his miraculous birth through his desert living to his being precursor of the Messiah. Most of us are not so extraordinary or different, but nonetheless, we are called to announce the coming of the Lord through our manner of faithful living.
**From Saint Louis University